Gurgaon Master Stroke

  • FG Bureau
  • India
  • Jun 05, 2015

Counting down to our 200th. issue (June 19), we are featuring some special Cover Stories from the past. This one is from Vol 1, No. 46, July 6-12, 2012.

To Hit Rock Bottom in 10 years; to become a Desert within 20.Achieve M(uck) City status alongside.


Will Gurgaon become a desert? Will Gurgaon drown in its own muck? Which will happen first? What will be the impact of the double whammy?

The Millennium City is seriously water-stressed The groundwater is being decimated by developers and builders, and citizens. Almost 40,000 bore wells are allegedly operating here.  Drilling has gone to 300 feet in a few places. In many places it has already hit rock.In 10 years the aquifers may well dry up. We would have hit 
rock bottom.

Water Supply – raw water comes from the 70km Gurgaon Water Supply (GWS) Canal of the Yamuna (linked to the Western Yamuna Canal coming from the Tajewala headworks near Yamunanagar. The GWS canal is designed to carry 245 MLD (Million Litres a Day) at the head, but loses 50% on the way - due to evaporation and diversion. The villages and industrial towns on the way ‘steal’ from the canal, and return to it their waste.

 The water is treated in the Water Treatment Plants (WTPs) situated in Gurgaon – at Basai Road, and there will soon be one at Chandu Bhudera. Raw water sourcing and treatment is HUDA’s domain. The Public Health and Engineering Dept. (PHED) is responsible for the “old’ City – and would hand over charge of water to the MCG soon (August 1). HUDA is looking after the ‘new’ City, and also should also have handed over to the MCG – though there are no plans currently. It has divided the new City into 3 sections. 

CPHEEO (Central Public Health and Environmental Engineering Organization) has set a water norm of 150 LPCD (Litres Per Capita Daily). On this basis, for a population of 1.5 to 2m million today, the water demand would be 225 to 300 MLD. To that we need to add the Commercial and Industrial Demand. A good Demand estimate would be 350 to 400 MLD. The Supply is 200 to 250 MLD.

Water Storage capacity at Basai is currently only 580 MLD (less than 2 days demand); it is being increased to 1770 MLD (about 5 days).

Water Treatment - HUDA has 3 Water treatment Plants (WTPs) in Basai, with a total capacity of 273 MLD. However, the plants are operating at about 60% capacity. The quality of water treatment is also suspect. There is wastage of water while supplying from the Plants to the homes/factories.

Sewage generation - As per a water demand of 350 MLD, sewage generation would be about 280 MLD. In reality, with water supply about 225 MLD, the sewage generation is about 180 MLD. There are 4 HUDA Sewerage Zones. They are either overloaded, or have silted up.

Sewage Treatment - Gurgaon has 3 Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) –  2 at Dhanwapur (67MLD – HUDA and 32MLD - PHED) for mainly primary treatment; and 1 at Behrampur (50MLD – HUDA). Not all sewage is treated. Sewage often bypasses the Plants (overflows), especially during the monsoons. A lot of sewage also accumulates on open grounds, creating cesspools, and slowly percolates into the ground. Gurgaon’s groundwater is also not free from the menace of pollution – having high concentrations of nitrate and fluoride.

For sewage collection, many colonies still do not have sewer connections; sewage is collected in septic tanks and emptied out in open areas or drains. The prominent open drains are the Khost Drain and the Badshahpur Nullah, which flow directly (untreated) into the Najafgarh Drain of Delhi (and then into the Yamuna), via an unlined 8km drain. The treated water from the STPs also goes along the same drain to Najafgarh.

Water-Sewage Solutions
Water Supply - Another Canal – the NCR Canal – is being dug at a cost Rs 275 crores. It is designed to carry 1210 MLD (upgradable to 1953MLD). 60% (initially 726 MLD) of the flow has been earmarked for Gurgaon. Also, as per a Haryana State Plan, 2500MLD would be diverted from the Yamuna, for use by the State. Within that, 37% (925 MLD) has been earmarked for Gurgaon.Planning for 60% share of the NCR Canal water or 37% of Haryana’s Yamuna water - for Gurgaon - is literally a pipe dream. Gurgaon matters little politically – which is why we are in this mess in the first place (see Page 1 -  ‘Gurgaon on Priority’). And how can we forget that Delhi, the Capital, also depends on the same Yamuna. Additionally, there is a dire need to lay new water pipelines, and to install digital meters.

Water Treatment - A new Water Treatment Plant (3 sub-plants) is coming up at Chandu Bhudera, with a total capacity of 300 MLD. The total capacity would thus become 573 MLD, versus a minimum water demand of 800 MLD.

Sewage Treatment - The Behrampur Sewage Treatment Plant will be upgraded to 145 MLD (from 50 MLD today). A tertiary treatment plant, with 10 MLD capacity, will come up at Sector 52A. The total sewage treatment capacity would thus become 254 MLD, versus a generation of about 700 MLD.

As per the Master Plan 2021, the current area of Gurgaon, of 8,000 hectares, would have a population of 2.2 million; the new area (Gurgaon II – Sectors 58 to 115 - 21,733 hectares) would have a population of 1.5 million – giving a total ‘official’ population of 3.7 million.

The Water Demand would be 800 to 1000 MLD. Only a miracle would help us get this - and the Water Treatment capacity would anyway be limited to 573 MLD.

The Sewage Generation would be about 700 ML The Sewage Treatment capacity would only be 254 MLD !

So, yes, we would (first) drown in our own muck…

Acknowledgement – This article is also based on data and information provided in a comprehensive Report of the Centre for Science and Environment – titled ‘Excreta Matters’, State of India’s Environment – A Citizen’s Report.

Some Questions

Where is/will the water for the hundreds of Gurgaon II projects coming/come from? Borewells (for ground water extraction) are officially banned, and Gurgaon II has  no piped water connection. Where then are the water tankers getting their water from? 

How many residents have access to piped water? Of these, how many have water meters?

Are residents being charged for water that is supplied by the builders from a (free) ground water source?

Why is there no comprehensive database of the number of borewells in Gurgaon? A clear majority of them are probably illegal. 


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