The institution will steer three pilot projects to treat wastewater, make it re-usable and also explore its usage in compost or value added products produced free of pathogens
The Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT KGP) will steer Saraswati 2.0 — a Rs 15-crore project funded by the European Union and the Government of India’s departments of Science and Technology and Biotechnology — to develop affordable technologies for treatment of wastewater and provide solutions for its use in both rural and urban India.
Saraswati 2.0, which has been selected under the EU-India Joint Call on Research and Innovation for Water, follows the Saraswati project of 2012-17. The EU will invest up to Rs 323 crore on various projects for four years.
IIT KGP will steer three pilot projects to treat wastewater, make it reusable and also explore its usage in compost or value added products that are produced free of pathogens.
For this, three plants will be soon set up at IIT KGP: Two anaerobic digesters, one with bio-electro chemical filter and another with photoheterotropic bioreactor — and a plant for ultrasonic treatment of sludge.
“IIT Kharagpur is the principal investigator and partner for three pilot projects. We will be using different technologies, the success of which will be evaluated based on the performance of the pilot plants,” Makarand Madhao Ghangrekar, professor in charge of IIT KGP’s Aditya Choubey Center for Re-water Research.
Seven more pilot plants will be set up in the partnering Indian institutes. These plants will be commissioned by January 2020.
For the project, IIT KGP would collaborate with lead European partner BOKU (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna). The other Indian partners in the project are IIT Madras, IIT Bhubaneswar, IIT Roorkee, National Institute of Industrial Engineering Mumbai, Malaviya National Institute of Technology Jaipur, TERI School of Advanced Studies.
Untreated domestic and municipal wastewater is a major source of water and environmental pollution in India. Treating wastewater can prevent pollution in rivers, lakes and ponds as well as provide an additional source of water supply.
The Narendra Modi-led government has, in its second tenure, laid much emphasis on bringing piped water to all rural households by 2024. For the purpose, the Centre also launched a new unified Jal Shakti ministry by merging the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
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