The Minister of Science & Technology, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands, Mr. Bert Koenders and Lt. Governor of Delhi, Sh. Anil Baijal laid the foundation stone to mark the beginning of work on cleaning the Barapullah drain in New Delhi today. The dignitaries also present were Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Prof. K VijayRaghavan, DDA Vice-Chairman, Shri Arun Goel and the Netherlands Ambassador to India H.E. Alphonsus Stoelinga. The highlight of the ceremony was the laying of the Foundation Stone for the on-site laboratory and pilot plant and the start of the cleaning and beautification of the Barapullah Drain with unveiling of an art work. The art work represents Indo – Dutch collaboration for the LOTUS HR project(“LOcal Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Reuse) in form of two flowers - ‘lotus’ and ‘tulip’, depicting the union of Indian and Dutch strengths. Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Government has underlined cleaning of our rivers as a major, indeed key mission. The clean Ganga project is being personally monitored by the Prime Minster himself. There are many available technologies to clean rivers. Their implementation must go ahead with speed. At the same time new de-centralised technologies need to be constantly developed and tested. Some new technologies could be more cost-efficient or better implementable in our context.
With this in mind, Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and NWO, the Netherlands Science Agency announced a joint call for proposals for cleaning the Barapullah drain. DBT in consultation with DDA has identified the Barapullah drain, Sarai Kale Khan, in the state of Delhi for setting up on-site experimental testing lab and for the establishment of a pilot plant. DDA has leased to DBT, a land measuring 200 Sq meters for a period of 5years adjacent to the Sun Dial Park for this purpose. After a rigorous and robust selection process on both sides, the project “Local Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Reuse (LOTUS)” has been finalised for setting up a demonstration plant for cleaning the Barapullah drain. The project LOcal Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Reuse (LOTUS HR) is an Indo-Netherlands joint project funded by Department of Biotechnology(DBT), Govt of india and NWO/STW, The Govt of Netherlands. The project has stakeholders from both Academia and Industry from India and Netherlands. It is coordinated by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi with participation of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi and National Environment Research Institute, Nagpur from India while Technical University Delft is coordinating it from The Netherlands, with participation of Environmental Engineering and Water Technology Department, UNESCO, Wageningen University and its Aquatic Ecology Department. There is also commitment from industry, especially from The Netherlands, in terms of both cash and kind towards the project.
The project aims to demonstrate a novel holistic (waste-) water management approach, that will produce clean water that can be reused for various proposes (e.g. industry, agriculture, construction etc.), while simultaneously recovering nutrients and energy from the urban waste water, thus converting drain into profitable mines. Special attention will be paid to pathogen removal and removing conventional and emerging pollutants. The project will develop an innovative pilot scale plant, suitable to cope with Indian conditions in a location specific manner. The final design of the pilot plant will be scalable and modular, to fit into the highly populated urban terrain.The participation of end-users in the project will ensure that the demonstration site becomes a self-sustaining initiative that will not finish at the end of the project and will be taken up by the end-users. From the early start of the project, end-users (municipality, DDA, DJB, NGO’s, and companies like Shell, Hydrorock, Nijhuis, Berson, etc.) will be engaged in design at the pilot location as well as in formulation of specific research sub-questions. This will facilitate rapid adoption of the Water Resuse safety plan and the newly developed products. Dutch and Indian companies will contribute to the project by sharing their existing technologies, which may need adjustments for becoming functional in the pilot plant. Architects like Schulte Holding will advise on incorporating these water treatment units in urban mega cities. Engineers from DDA will help in site preparation and civil construction of the pilot plant.