Manipur’s Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) has started operating the first-ever sewage treatment plant in North East India under the banner of Imphal Sewerage Project Phase-I to control pollution.

The sewage treatment plant aims to cover 1.73 lakh residents in Imphal City.

Sharing the information, Executive Engineer Arambam Ibohal of PHED’s Drainage and Sewerage Division, the implementing agency in the state said that so far the department has provided sewerage pipeline connections to 12,000 households and other establishments in 9 out of the targeted 11 Imphal municipal wards.

“The remaining households will be completed within March 2021,” Engineer Ibohal said.

The primary objective of implementing the sewage treatment plant in Imphal city is to control pollution in Nambul river, which falls into Loktak, the largest freshwater lake in North East India, he added.

With a project cost of Rs 345 crores, Imphal Sewerage Project Phase-I having a generating capacity of 27 million litres per day is designed to cover core areas of Imphal town through its primary and secondary lines, and was officially commissioned in June last year after conducting one-and-a-half year trial run and started implementation recently.

“In this project, we are targeting to reutilise the sewerage water collected from the households and other establishments after its proper treatment at the plant site at Lamphelpat for different purposes so that only rain water runs in our drains,” Engineer Ibohal said. “So we’re requesting the public to use the facility judiciously.”

The department is also planning to take up Imphal Sewerage Project Phase-II with a generating capacity of 49 million litres per day. This project which aims to cover another 3.5 lakh population in Imphal city, is targeted to be completed within 3 years. The cost of the project is Rs 1,471 crores. “We’ve already prepared the detailed project report in this regard,” he said.

It may be recalled that the Directorate of Environment has taken up Rs 97 crores worth Nambul River Rejuvenation Project under the centre’s National River Conservation Plan along with four other departments to control pollution of the river by intercepting and treating urban waste between Iroisemba and Heirangoithong through a treatment plant at Mongsangei in Imphal considering the importance of water bodies.