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The article mentions waste water treatment plants, but no sewer system to transport the waste.

Anyone know why?

I've heard people say "too many people", but too many people means a huge labor force that is low cost.

I would think that building a sewer system would be pretty straightforward. Massive countries like China have pretty good wastewater treatment (relatively speaking) in the cities. So do other developing countries.

Why is it such an issue in India?




Plenty of reasons. Mostly corruption, embezzlement, lack of expertise in what to do with affluent & rules abour what can be discharged to the river (which is polluted anyway) but bureaucracy

The entire city doesn't look like this or lack sewage. Its just some hotspots.

I have lived in Delhi for couple of years before moving back to Bangalore. Delhi truly is the asshole of India.


I was wondering if it was corruption. It's not like we don't know how to deal with sewage. It's just a matter of actually doing it.


To give you an idea of corruption and inefficiencies, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the governing body responsible for all municipal matters in the city, has more employees than the entire Indian Air Force.

Of these, an estimated third are fake employees. They do not exist, yet the government "pays" them. Their salaries are collected by corrupt officers to the tune of nearly $3M every year.


Lack of good urban planning. Houses are built before everything(water, sanitary facilities, water drains). And then everything is planned around them. What you get is semi-ghetto areas, where everything has to be crammed in without any intelligent design. So you get small sewage pipes which don't have the bandwidth to carry waste water, let alone any reasonable sewage(like toilet paper).

Now imagine entire mini cities rising up like this. How do go around building sewage drains? They too come up randomly, emptying into lakes, ponds, former rivers.

This is exactly the case near my home in Bangalore. 10 years after the houses were built municipal corporations are now putting in an after thought. In fact roads are so badly planned that there people who have encroached the entire section of the street discontinuing the road from one corner to the other. They get away by bribing local corporators.

Also there is no door-to-door garbage collection facilities so people discard household waste onto some corner in every street which has to be later cleaned by garbage men who show up once in 2-3 weeks, hence mosquitoes and dengue like diseases.


Some of it is cultural. (I can't speak to their engineering practices or limitations, anyway.) Toilets aren't a given in India. They're generally available in cities. But, for example, on some locomotives, the toilet is a literal shithole cut in the floor, for you to you void directly on the tracks.

source: was tourist

relevant article picked at random: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/india-is-b...


This is actually pretty common, worldwide. The trains in the Netherlands technically 'flush', but they flush right onto the tracks.


In Germany, we replaced that system several decades ago, because at 160km/h+ that can become pretty risky to do.


Yep. Thats why there are signs telling you not to use the toilet at stations.

On the other hand the streets in the Netherlands are littered with dog poo..


Same in India, there are signs and rules against such usage.

But like many such things in India, very few actually care: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/you-may-be-f....


Honestly it seems like a reasonable system. That kind of waste will decompose extremely quickly.


That's true, but it's also a matter of volume. Flushing a toilet every 10 miles of track sounds fine, but with enough passangers it becomes pretty gross.


Huh. Do they have the pretense of a commode, or is it a hole sawn into the floor?


I saw this in America in the 90s, on an Amtrack train from Seattle to Los Angeles. When I went to flush, I could see the railroad ties flashing by under the toilet. The staff locked the washroom doors when we entered cities.




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