Bio-remediation to be used for checking pollution during Kumbh

Bio-remediation, a technology that is still in the initial testing phase, is likely to be a significant component for preventing untreated sewerage from flowing into River Ganga during Kumbh-2013.

Bio-remediation technology uses naturally existing microbes in nature to treat the sewerage, breaking it down into carbon dioxide and water, besides lessening the odour. The authorities concerned are banking on bio-remediation technology for treating sewerage, even as they claim that the work of sewerage treatment plants (STPs) will be completed before Kumbh.

However, the mela administration has been saying that STP projects were part of Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). "We cannot be held responsible for STPs. We will be using bio-remediation technology to ensure that Ganga water remains clean, as far as possible," said an officer of the mela administration.

Following a couple of experiments that gave encouraging results, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, had last year decided to take up pilot projects on bio-remediation measures at several points in Ganga, as they are seen as simple and cost-effective method to treat sewage. The pilot projects were to help in standardising the norms and framing guidelines for its use.

One such project was awarded to a private company, at a cost of Rs 1.38 crore and was to be completed in 16 months, at Mori Gate drain here in Allahabad. But it is yet to take off. In-charge of CPCB's Lucknow office M Q Ansari said: "The project has been awarded and some pre-requisites are yet to be completed."

Asked whether bio-remediation technology can be called untested, Ansari said: "The technology is not entirely untested. It has gone past the laboratory stage. The earlier experiment carried out at Mayur Vihar in Delhi was encouraging. These pilot projects will further help us."

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