The kickoff meeting and the curtain raiser event for the Local Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Reuse “LOTUS” project was organised on September 08, 2016 at Barapulla Sundial, New Delhi.
Dutch Ambassador, secretary DBT, Prof. C R Babu, PI’s and researchers attended it.
Dutch Ambassador Mr Alphonsus Stoelinga expressed his enthusiasm about the project and said that it would be a good idea to take it to a higher level. He expressed confidence that the scientists would be able to bring out and implement the best of technologies and make the project a major success.
Dr. Vijay Raghavan specified, “What we are experimenting with is to use a decentralised approach towards sewage treatment plants as well as implement new technologies.” He also added, “This is a very ambitious project and I am really hopeful that this will reap good results in a very short time.” He highlighted the requirement for a project management group to connect with the right people internationally who could help the team deliver the best results.
Sh. Arun Goel, DDA, Vice-Chairman assured help required for the project especially in terms of land and logistics.”
During the two days workshop that follows scientists from India and the Netherlands shall finalize the detailed plan of the project and officially start the project.
A Programme of Cooperation (PoC) had been signed on November 9, 2011 between Department of Biotechnology and Directorate-General for Enterprise and Innovation, Ministry of Economic Affairs Agriculture and Innovation, Government of the Netherlands in the areas of Plant sciences and related Biotechnology; Food & Nutrition and Medical Biotechnology. The cooperation also includes public private research.
In pursuance of the PoC, Department for Biotechnology, Government of India and the Netherlands organisation for scientific research (NOW) and Technology Foundation STW, Government of the Netherlands expressed interest in collaborating in the area of Water for Health. Accordingly, a joint call for proposal was announced in the area.
The call supports high quality research and development programmes aiming at ‘new’ wastewater management to ensure good quality fresh water free of risk-causing contaminants and promote productive, safe reuse of water, thereby enhancing human and environmental health conditions.
DBT in consultation with DDA has identified the Barapullah drain, Sarai Kale Khan, in the state of Delhi as a demonstration site for the proposed interdisciplinary technological solutions.
To further facilitate, advance and demonstrate the new wastewater management solutions coming from this research programme, DBT and DDA will provide experimental testing sites along the Barapullah drain where testing labs and the demonstration pilot plant can be established.
Barapullah is a 12.5 km long drain responsible for about 30% of pollution in the Yamuna River, collecting mainly domestic sewage and waste from small industry. This joint initiative and testing site will result in a long-lasting collaboration between Dutch and Indian scientists in the field of water-related research while demonstrating tangible improvement in water quality in the said site.
After a rigorous and robust selection process on both sides, the project “Local Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Reuse (LOTUS)” has been finalized for setting up a demonstration plant for cleaning the Barapullah drain.
During the programme, a demonstration plant will be designed and operated along the Barapullah drain with the support of the Dutch and the Indian consortium. The practical expertise generated through this pilot plant shall focus on finding the cost effective local solutions using local resources and adapt state of art Dutch technology to Indian conditions for the cleaning of the drain. The technologies will be further developed to generate safe water for reuse, as well as nutrients for agriculture use and energy. From the early start of the project, industry and end users (municipality, DJB, NGOs, Shell, Hydrorock, Berson, INNOW, IPstar, and Nijhuis) will be engaged in the design at the pilot location as well as in formulation of specific research questions.
The Netherlands side has committed €1,470,000 towards the project. India shall also contribute matching amount for the project. There is also commitment from industry, especially from the Netherlands both in cash and in kind.