Air Pollution

Centre eases norms for sewage plants


Mains Paper 3: Environmental Pollution

The following things are important from UPSC perspective:

Prelims: CPCB, BOD.

Mains: Nothing much.




  1. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has relaxed standards for upcoming sewage treatment plants (STP), including those to come up on extremely polluted stretches of the Ganga.
  2. It is part of the government’s ₹20,000 crore push to clean the river was a 2015-proposal to have higher standards for STPs.
  3. The government earlier hsd planned that the biochemical oxygen demand (Bod) — a marker for organic pollutants — in the treated water had to be no more than 10 mg/litre.
  4. Existing laws permit BoD up to 30 mg/litre.
  5. But a recent notification by Union Environment Ministry says that STPs coming up after June 2019 except in major State capitals and metropolitan cities need only conform to 30 mg/litre of BoD.
  6. New STPs in State capitals, however, have to cap BoD at 20 mg/litre.


  1. The 10 mg criteria was impractical and required advanced technology that was too costly for most States.
  2. The recent notification is a step forward because now we also have standards for faecal coliform, which has never been part of our standards.
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