The Socioeconomic Spillovers of Sanitation: Sewage Treatment Plants in Navi Mumbai, India
Over time, a city’s sanitation facilities can offer many economic and social benefits in addition to the direct benefits to public health.
Sanitation and its related infrastructure in a city, especially in a developing country like India, are critical elements to ensure hygiene and a clean living environment in human settlements. The sanitation facility of a large city comprises the sewage collection network, sewage treatment plant (STP), and disposal system. The primary objective of several water and sanitation policies implemented nationwide is to provide safe drinking water and sanitation. Over time the city’s sanitation facility also offers many other economic and social benefits in addition to the direct benefits to public health. In a fast-growing city, these benefits are realized within 2 to 3 years after the implementation of the sanitary program. To identify the effects of these socioeconomic benefits, we perform a technical evaluation of the treated effluent quality and study environmental drivers such as population growth, industrial growth, property development, air quality, vehicular growth, reduction in water consumption, increase in reuse of treated water, increase in land cost, improvement in biodiversity, improvement in health, and improvement in green area.
This case study presents the socioeconomic spillover effects and results of a technical evaluation of the sanitation program of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. To understand the technical, economic, and sociological spillover effects of the NMMC’s implemented STP, we study the (i) innovative policy option of decision makers; (ii) stringent design criteria; (iii) innovative construction techniques adopted during execution; (iv) continuous monitoring of the sewage (influent and effluent) quality; and (v) associated sociological data such as the reported health condition, increase in land values, and the number of people migrated to the area near the STP. We obtain lessons from the technical difficulties and solutions and the effect of the sanitation policy on socioeconomic improvement, which policy makers may adopt in implementing large-scale sanitation projects in other parts of the country.