District disaster management

Source: Municipal Corporation Amritsar, 2007 Punjab; Water Supply and Sewerage Circle, Amritsar (2008)

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Source: Municipal Corporation Amritsar, 2007 Punjab; Water Supply and Sewerage Circle, Amritsar (2008)

Water Treatment

No formal system of water treatment is in operation in all the settlements due to the absence of water treatment plant. Water is treated through a system of chlorination or bleaching powder, which is added at the level of water extraction. No scientific system is available in all the settlements to check the quality of water supplied. The practice of water sampling to determine the quality of water is not practiced in any of the settlement.

However, in case of Amritsar, bacteriological test is carried out occasionally to determine the level of bacterial contamination and bleaching powder is used for the disinfection of water. However, this practice is also not carried out in accordance to the BIS, {ISI-10500, 1991(clause 3.1)}.
Distribution System

At present 91% of water supply in the city is made through tube wells under direct supply system and 9% is through 29 over head reservoirs (OHSR). Out of the total 29 OHSRs, only 19 are operational with total capacity of 17 MLD, whereas rest of 10 OHSRs are not working due to problems related to leakage, structure, etc. On an average, each over head tank has a capacity of 9 lakh liters. In the walled city, 4 OHSRs and 8 tube wells are in operation. Rest of the tube wells and 25 OHSRs serve the population outside the walled city.


The disposal of sewage generated by industrial, commercial, domestic and institutions is also one of the basic function of the local bodies. Providing sewage disposal network is mandated due to its impact on the quality of life and quality of environment. Accordingly, sewage disposal has also been considered as one of the critical component of urban infrastructure determining the quality of life in urban sector. In this context, while preparing the future planning framework for the city, it is important to examine the issues and status related to sewerage in Amritsar.

Area and Population Coverage

Table 45: Sewerage Details of Urban Settlements in Amritsar

Name of Settlement

Total Population (31.03.08)

Average Daily Sewage Flow (MLD)

%age pop served

Population Served by sewerage System

Population Served by soakage pits/septic tanks







Source: Punjab Water Supply & Sewerage Circle, Amritsar
Amritsar Municipal Corporation

Fig no.30: View of Blocked Sewer at Mahan Singh Gate

early 70% of the area of Amritsar Municipal Corporation is covered by sewerage network serving 64% of the city population (Refer map 11 and table no.61). The remaining 30% of area and 36% of the population is still devoid of the provision of formal network. At present, 192 MLD

of sewage is generated on daily basis. The

total length of sewerage network in the city is

of the order of 569kms.

However, in the absence of the formal network,

the remaining population is dependent on the system of septic tanks/soak pits and independent institutional set ups. Moreover, the people living in slums and population below poverty line, who have no access to these facilities, either use the community toilets created by local bodies or defecate in open fields.

Sewerage Treatment and Disposal
Sewerage Treatment

The total quantity of daily sewage generated in the Amritsar city is of the order of 192 MLD, whereas in the case of Rayya it is 2.90 MLD. The quantum of sullage generated in Majitha is 2.10 MLD, whereas in case of Jandiala Guru and Rajasansi, there is no sullage collected due to absence of sewerage system. Unfortunately, none of the urban settlements including Amritsar, has a system of sullage treatment, hence untreated sullage is pumped into the nearby drains or water bodies.

Seweage Disposal


Fig no.31: Disposal Work, Fatehpur

n case of Amritsar, the entire city is divided into three catchment zones for collecting the sullage. It includes North Zone, South Zone and West Zone (Chheharta). The North Zone includes the portion of the city falling on the North of the Amritsar-Jalandhar Railway Line. The sullage of this area is collected at Mahlan, from where it is pumped for disposal. About 1/3rd (32%) of the sullage is collected at this station. The South Zone includes most of the area falling on the southern side of the railway line. The sullage collected in this zone is collected at the pumping station located at Fatehpur, from where it is pumped into the Gandha Nallah. This zone generates the largest sullage, which is of the order of 63%. The remaining 5% of the sullage is generated in Chheharta, which is the west zone of the city. The sullage generated in this area is collected at the pumping station located at Gumanpura, from where it is pumped into the Ganda Nallah.

Fig no.32: View of Ganda Nallah used for Disposal

n all, there are 20 pumping stations in Amritsar serving the system of disposal. 11 of these stations have been designated as Temporary Sewage Disposal Sites by the Municipal Corporation Amritsar, which pumps sewage directly into the nearby water course/storm water drainage or nallahs. Ganda

Nallah, Hudiara Drain and Tung Dhab Drain, which ultimately meets the Hudiara Drain, are the three major drains where the city’s sullage is disposed off. Remaining 9 pumping stations pump sewage into other manholes. These pumping stations were primarily constructed during the last 15 years in order to overcome the problem of sewage outflow. All these pumping stations are manually operated working on three shifts a day.

All other settlements falling in district follow the system of pumping the untreated sullage into the nearby water bodies/drains. In the absence of sewerage treatment plant in the Amritsar city, all the sewage collected i.e. domestic and industrial, is being disposed off into the Gandha Nallah without any treatment, which has caused high degree of soil and ground water pollution in the city. In addition, large number of industrial units operating within and outside walled city also discharge their effluents directly into the network without making any initial treatment. All industries are required to treat their effluents to neutralize the chemicals before discharging into the network. Presence of chemicals and toxins not only damages the network but also creates numerous problems in treatment of sullage. All these industrial units need to be brought under stringent controls as far as the discharge of their sullage/effluent into the network is concerned.

Accordingly, it is important that sewerage treatment plants are installed on priority to treat the sullage generated in order to minimize the pollution. However, three sewerage treatment plants are proposed to be installed in Amritsar with a total capacity of 200 MLD. With the construction and operationalisation of these plants, Amritsar will become one of the few towns of the state having capacity of treating majority of the sullage generated. The total installed capacity of these 3 plants is equal to the average daily sewerage flow. Therefore, in order to serve the future population, the need will be to enhance the installed capacity or setting up of new treatment plants.

With the creation of large area of hard surface by bringing agricultural land into urbanization, large volume of storm water drainage is generated in urban areas. Draining the rain water assumes importance because of the numerous problems created due to inefficient disposal of storm water. Due to inefficient or non-existence of storm water drainage network, most of the city now face a problem of water logging and flooding causing heavy loss to property and human lives.


Fig no. 33: Water Logging outside Bus Stand

rea and Population Coverage

The city of Amritsar has high degree of deficiency

in the storm water network. Considering the existing status of storm water network, it appears that this critical network has low priority on the agenda of Municipal Corporation. At present only 20% of the city area and population is covered under the storm water network. This means that remaining 80% of the city

and population remains outside the purview of the storm water network. The walled city, Amritsar has system of open drains while for the areas outside it, the disposal of storm water is combined with sewerage network leading to choking of the pipes, overflow of the sullage and backflow of the sewerage water. Storm water also gets into low lying areas flooding them in the process. The problem of acute water logging during heavy rains has been experienced in the entire city of Amritsar. This is mainly due to the trough or saucer shape of the city, which requires adoption of specialized approach to drain off the rainwater due to its typical topography. The network available is hardly 10 Kms in length, which is highly inadequate considering the size of city. The details of population and area coverage in Amritsar are given in table below:

Table 46: Length of Drainage Network in Amritsar Municipal Corporation Area


Length (km)

Area under
Coverage (%)

Population under
Coverage (%)

Storm Water Line




Source: Municipal Corporation Amritsar, 2006-07.

Drainage Network
Amritsar M. C.

Amritsar has the advantage of having a network of both natural and manmade open drains/nallahs, which have a general slope of East to West. The gradient of these drains is shallow due to its flat topography. There are two major nallahs serving the city, namely Ganda Nallah, located on the south of the city, whereas Tung Dhab is located on the northern side of the city. Both these nallahs ultimately discharge into the Hudiara Drain, which is located west to the city. Further, Hudiara Drain joins the river Ravi over the international border with Pakistan and accordingly, storm water is released into the river Ravi. Thus, Hudiara Drain remains most critical for discharging the storm water as well as sewage.

Despite the fact that there is a network of drains and nallahs available in Amritsar, most of them are unfortunately used for carrying the untreated sullage and domestic refuse. Since the area close to these nallahs/drains has been urbanized by mushrooming of residential colonies including slums, most of the household waste and sullage is dumped into these nallahs/drains. In the absence of any sewerage treatment plant in the Amritsar urban area, 20 temporary and permanent pumping stations discharge the untreated sullage into these drains. This practice has led to not only high degree of health hazard to the adjoining communities, but has emerged as the major threat to environment and quality of life. These nallahs have become a major eyesore and has led to high degree of pollution of ground water resource making it unfit at most of the places for human consumption.

In view of the existing scenario, it becomes critical that practice of discharging untreated sullage into the drains/nallahs should be immediately stopped and these drains/nallahs are restored to their lost glory. The precious storm water should be harvested to be used as alternative source of water supply reducing pressure on the vital ground water resources. The institutions having large area like Guru Nanak Dev University, Khalsa College, Verka Milk Plant, Grain Market and Defence area, which have large open land available with them should be involved in the system of rain water harvesting. In addition, building byelaws of the Municipal Corporation, Amritsar Development Authority and Improvement Trust, should include rainwater harvesting as integral part of development of buildings and it should be enforced strictly. Further individual households, industries and Development Authorities should be actively involved in the rain water harvesting, so as to reduce/minimize the amount of rain water generated, which require disposal and which can be used for different activities reducing the quantum of water supply required to serve the city. The percolation wells for rainwater harvesting could be considered along with the option of open trenches for improving rainwater harvesting. In addition, existing drainage network should be preserved as an integral part of development process by declaring them as protected areas. This would help in preserving these natural resources besides helping in better management of storm water drainage.

Despite the fact that city is facing acute problem of flooding and water logging, still there is no proposal for creating/augmenting storm water drainage network to solve the existing problem of the city. In this context, it will be important to consider the option of making all new development coming up within the urban settlements to provide for storm water drainage network as integral part of urban development process. In addition, all Development Authorities should be mandated to provide storm water drainage network in the area undertaken by them as development projects. The rainwater harvesting at the community/local level or at the scheme level should also be included for conserving water and reducing the outflow of storm water. In the old areas, it will be appropriate to consider levy of a cess on water/sewerage bills, so as to generate resources for improving the area and population coverage under the drainage network. Efficient drainage of storm water would also require the designing of road network in a manner that for shorter distances, roads should act as drains and the slope provided should be able to drain off the water quickly.

Solid waste management is the prime responsibility of the Municipal Corporation Amritsar involving collection, storage, segregation, transportation and disposal. Health Officer of the Corporation has been vested with the overall responsibility for management of the solid waste. He is assisted by Assistant Medical Officer of Health and other support staff. Corporation organizes the collection and transportation of the solid waste through its own conservancy workers and a fleet of vehicles deployed. In Amritsar urban limits, house to house collection of the solid waste is carried out through a number of sanitary workers deployed by the Municipal Corporation, payment of which is made on shared basis by Corporation and Mohalla Sudhar Committee, which are constituted at Mohalla level and support the system through household contributions. In all, there are more than 2406 sanitary workers deployed, which include 1443 by the Corporation and 963 through Mohalla Sudhar Committees. In addition, there are 51 drivers and 24 Sanitary Inspectors, besides 20 Sanitary Jamadaars (Head of Sanitary workers), 7 Naib Darogas (Supervisors looking over the work of Jamadaars and sanitary workers) and 4 Chief Sanitary Inspectors.

The total generation of solid waste in the city of Amritsar is estimated to be 600 tons per day (TPD). This large amount of solid waste generated is disposed off on the landfill site located outside Bhagtanwala. Seeing the large amount of generation of solid waste in the city, Municipal Corporation of Amritsar has undertaken the project of Integrated Solid Waste Management Project under JNNURM to scientifically dispose off the solid waste. This MSW project is divided into two phases. The first phase of the project includes collection, segregation, storage and transportation of the municipal solid waste, which has been accorded to M/S Antony Waste Handling Cell, and the second phase of the project includes processing and disposal of solid waste, which has been allotted to M/S AKC Developer Limited, Noida. The first phase has been in operation since Feb ’09.

Solid waste comprises of waste generated from different sources. Major sources of generation are individuals, households, industries, trade and commerce, hotels and restaurants, healthcare institutions including dispensaries and hospitals, animals and floating populations in terms of tourists, hawkers, etc. Solid waste generated can be broadly classified into four categories i.e Organic Waste, which includes kitchen waste (food items), leaves, remains of animals slaughtered, etc., Recyclable Waste, which includes paper, plastic, glass, metal, rags, packing materials, twigs, bark, etc., Inert Waste including bricks, cement, building debris, furniture waste, etc. and Industrial Waste, which includes the byproducts. In addition, large amount of waste is also generated by number of hospitals, dispensaries and other health care institutions, which are operational in the city. The current addition is E-Waste generated from electronic products whose quantity is alarmingly increasing in the city.

In terms of waste generated, organic waste comprises of more than half of the total waste whereas inert waste is more than 1/4 of the total waste generated. Industrial waste as well as recyclable waste comprises of approx 1/10th each of waste generated. There is no segregation of waste at the point of generation.


Composition of Municipal Solid Waste

Fig no. 34: Garbage dumping along roadside

Fig no 35: Dumping of Garbage in open drain passing through Bangla Basti


Fig no.36: Open Dumping Ground at Fatehpur

mritsar Municipal Corporation practices open disposal of waste without undertaking any pre-treatment of the waste. MCA has identified three landfill sites for open disposal of waste located outside Bhagtanwala Gate, village Fatehpur and village Bharariwal. At present, waste is dumped at the Bhagtanwala Gate site with occasional odour control treatment.
Table 47: Details of Landfill Sites in Amritsar Municipal Corporation Area

Sr No.


Area (ha)


Distance (km) from city centre

Age (Years)

Present Status


Landfill Site No.1


Outside Gate Bhagtanwala

2 km

25 years

Could be used for next 15 years


Landfill Site No.2



6 km

Recently acquired

Under development


Landfill Site No.3



5 km

Recently acquired

Under development

Source: Amritsar Municipal Corporation
Fig no.37 Waste ing in Vacant Plots in litter city

n addition, informal dumping of the waste has been witnessed in nallahs, open spaces, vacant plots, along bye pass, etc. This informal dumping of garbage along bye-pass, nallah, etc. has lead to the creation of unhygienic environment in the areas of the city. Moreover, there is no formal system of solid wast

e management operating in 26 villages, which have

been included within the urban limits from time to time. Large amount of industrial waste has been found to be dumped along the roads and outside the industrial areas. Fruit and vegetable markets and food grain markets located outside Bhagtanwala Gate and in Vallah have also been found to generate considerable agricultural waste, which needs proper collection, transportation and management. Accordingly, it will be critical to involve Punjab Small Industries & Export Corporation and Punjab State Agricultural Marketing Board to take care of waste generated in their respective areas.
Fig no. 38: Dumping of waste along Bye-pass

ith regard to the generation of

bio-medical waste in huge quantities in

the city due to large number of health

institutions in operation, a separate system of disposal is involved, which is being privately managed. The disposal of hospital waste, including its collection and transportation, etc., is being carried out by two agencies namely Medicare Incinerators Private Limited, Ludhiana and Health Care Systems, Jhabal Road, Amritsar. These agencies are being paid by the health institutions based on the amount of waste generated. Herein, the MCA plays the role of a regulator.

Presently, none of the other urban settlements in the Amritsar has waste processing facility. The entire municipal solid wastes collected from the towns are disposed at the landfill site. In case of Rajasansi, the municipal council has done an agreement with the Ajnala Municipal Council for the disposal of the town waste at their site located on Dera Baba Nanak Road at an annual cost of Rs. 20,000. This has been done because of the guidelines of the Airport Authority of India as per which there should not be any waste disposal site in 10 kms radius of the Rajasansi Airport.

In order to effectively manage the solid waste, it will be important to involve all the stakeholders and creating awareness among the masses to manage the waste and keep the city clean. The best approach will be to ask people to generate as little waste as possible and to segregate the waste at the household level itself. Critical points generating large volume of waste should be identified and a separate strategy for collection and disposal of waste should be formulated in consultation with the local community. Industrial Associations should also be made partner in disposal and management of industrial waste. Further there should be strategies to deal with generation of E-waste in the city with the coming up of IT/ITES parks as envisioned.

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