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There is a significant increase in the urban population (eleven fold increase in the last century) and consequently this has increased the number of urban centers in India. This has thrown up a major challenge to ULBs entrusted with the task of waste management. These challenges can be met only when there is a full and undivided attention of our planners and decision makers. We must protect our environment and aquatic resources in order to achieve better management of health aspects. 

The wastewater generation has increased from 7,000 MLD in 1978-79 to 17,000 MLD in 1994-95 in Class I cities. In 2009, only 41% of the wastewater generated is collected and 48.8% of this is treated before letting the collected water out. Only 2 cities in India have 100% wastewater treatment capacity. More than 380 Class 1 cities (out of 420) treat less than 40% of the wastewater generated. Treated or partly treated or untreated wastewater is either disposed into surface water bodies such as natural channels, rivers, lakes, ocean etc. or used on land for irrigation/ fodder cultivation. Therefore, there is an urgent need of addressing the wastewater management problem in urban and peri-urban areas of our country. Instead of viewing wastewater as a “problem” if it is viewed as a “resource”, many of the water supply and wastewater management problems can be handled in a sustainable manner. Although “recycling and reuse” is a great concept, if it is not practiced properly, it can lead to more problems, as it happened in many cases of grey water recycling.


Given the amount of effort and investment that is required to create water and sanitation infrastructure, Public Private Partnerships (PPP) are being envisaged as a mode by which asset creation and service delivery in the water and sanitation sector can be achieved. The Minsitry of Urban Development (MoUD) has set up a Center for Excellence in PPPs in IIT Madras with a view towards providing assistance and knowledge support to Urban Local Bodies who are interested in developing water and sanitation infrastructure through PPPs



Decentralized wastewater treatment is a viable option for treating wastewater for small communities, hilly areas, and low lying areas which are difficult to be connected by centralized systems. This also gives better opportunity to recycle and reuse the treated wastewater. To popularize and showcase such treatment systems, Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) has set up a Centre of Excellence in Decentralized Wastewater Management at IIT Madras.