80% of India sewage flows into rivers

AFP-JIJI

Eighty percent of sewage in India is untreated and flows directly into the nation’s rivers, polluting the main sources of drinking water, a study by an environmental watchdog showed.

Indian cities produce nearly 40 billion liters of sewage every day and barely 20 percent of it is treated, according to “Excreta Does Matter,” a new report released Tuesday by the Center for Science and Environment. “The untreated waste dumped into rivers seeps into groundwater, thereby creating a ticking health bomb in India,” the report concludes.

Weak or nonexistent enforcement of environmental laws, rapid urban development and a lack of awareness about the dangers of sewage are all blamed for twater pollution in India. A 2011 survey by the Central Pollution Control Board revealed only 160 out of 8,000 towns had both sewerage systems and a sewage treatment plant.