Sewage Treatment Plants in India

News: According to the latest report of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) in India are able to treat a little more than a third of the sewage generated per day. CPCB is a statutory organisation which was constituted in September, 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.


  • India generated 72,368 MLD (million litres per day)whereas the installed capacity of STPs was 31,841 MLD (43.9%). 5 states and Union Territories (UT) – Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Karnataka – account for 60% of the total installed treatment capacity of the country.
  • Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Manipur, Meghalaya and Nagaland have not installed sewage treatment plants. Chandigarh ranks first in terms of total sewage generated to what is actually treated.
  • It is maximum in Haryana followed by Puducherry, Delhi, Chandigarh. It has not assumed much importance in the policy planning of many state governments. Treated sewage water can be reused for horticulture, irrigation, washing activities (road, vehicles and trains), fire-fighting, industrial cooling, toilet flushing and gardening. This can decrease the water demand from aquatic sources like rivers, ponds, lakes and as well as groundwater sources.
  • CPCB has estimated that sewage generation will increase to over 1,20,000 MLD by 2051.
  • The gaps in treatment capacity are amplified at local levels, as STPs are concentrated in larger cities and Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs)are unevenly distributed across states.
  • Modern Wastewater Treatment Plants (WTPs) are capital-intensive and require the use of innovative technology, such as sensors, Internet of Things (IoT) devices and Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based trackers.
  • The high upfront capital requirements in machinery and equipment, combined with unpredictable revenue streams, make this a high-risk sector, deterring private sector investment.