The coverage of sewerage network and sanitation process in Gorakhpur is very poor. The rate at which the city population is growing, it no doubt that the city will have to confront with human excreta, filth polybags, knee deep sewerage and garbage, contaminated drinking water problems. This is no empty doomsday prediction but based on analysis of present day trends. Today only a small part of the city (22 percent) is served by the underground municipal sewerage system that is also overloaded and choked with silt. The existing sewer network caters primarily to the old city area. The five decades old pipes have broken down in many places, contaminating the drinking water. The Gorakhpur Development Authority (GDA) is responsible for planning and regulation of the plans and it has to ensure that underground sewer systems are constructed in the newly developing colonies. It is GDA’s job to develop all the civic amities in these colonies before handing them over to the Gorakhpur Municipal Corporation.
The city’s six pumping stations dispose the untreated sewage into the drains and subsequently into the Ramgarh Lake and Rapti River, killing the water bodies. There is no sewage treatment plant and the sewerage disposal is mainly through open drains and sewer lines. The mosquitoes that take over the city every evening is increasing season by season every year.
The low lying areas, low slope gradient, open drains, and lack of proper solid waste management systems increase the city’s vulnerability. The sewer lines are also linked to the freshwater bodies in the city, causing eutrophication and degradation of the water reservoirs. Malaria and dysentery have historically been a problem; and recent years have seen a rise in diarrheal diseases and the introduction of Japanese Encephalitis.
As per the GMC’s own norm, 28 sanitary workers are required for every 10000 of the population. But there were 23 workers per 10 thousand of population, taking the 2001 census figure of 622701 persons. At present this has reduced to 18 per 10 thousand which compounding the citizen’s woes. Though the Jal Nigam has sent Rs 156.30 million project under the Urban Integrated Development Scheme for Small and Medium Town scheme but due to slow mechanical process under government system, it would be too early to say weather this amount will be sufficient given the enormity of the task involved. Certainly many more projects might be needed in the future. Beside this, citizens will have to play an active role by not only generating less waste but also paying their dues to GMC regularly and on time.