PM to inaugurate municipal solid waste based Gobar-Dhan plant in Indore on 19th February
In line with PM’s vision of creating garbage free cities
Principles of “waste to wealth” and “circular economy” exemplified in the Bio-CNG plant
Plant has capacity to treat 550 tonnes per day of segregated wet organic waste
It will produce 17,000 kg per day of CNG and 100 tonnes per day of organic compost
Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will inaugurate “Gobar-Dhan (Bio-CNG) Plant” in Indore on 19th February at 1 PM through video conferencing.
Prime Minister recently launched the Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0, with the overall vision of creating “Garbage Free Cities”. The Mission is being implemented under the overarching principles of “waste to wealth”, and “circular economy” for maximising resource recovery – both of which are exemplified in the Indore Bio-CNG plant.
The plant has a capacity to treat 550 tonnes per day of segregated wet organic waste. It is expected to produce around 17,000 kg per day of CNG, and 100 tonnes per day of organic compost. The plant is based on zero landfill models, whereby no rejects would be generated. Additionally, the project is expected to yield multiple environmental benefits, viz. reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, providing green energy along with organic compost as fertiliser.
Indore Clean Energy Pvt Ltd, a Special Purpose Vehicle created to implement the project, was set up by Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) and Indo Enviro Integrated Solutions Ltd. (IEISL) under a Public Private Partnership model, with 100% capital investment of ₹150 crores by IEISL. Indore Municipal Corporation will purchase a minimum 50% of CNG produced by the plant and in a first-of-its kind initiative, run 400 city buses on the CNG. The balance quantity of CNG will be sold in the open market. The organic compost will help replace chemical fertilisers for agricultural and horticultural purposes.
India, Australia, and Singapore come together to address marine pollution with a focus on plastic debris
The Government of India, in partnership with the Government of Australia and the Government of Singapore, conducted an international workshop on combating marine pollution focusing on marine plastic debris on February 14-15, 2022. The workshop, held virtually, bought together the world’s leading experts, scientists, government officials with policy expertise, and representatives from industry, innovation and informal sectors. It aimed to discuss research interventions toward monitoring and assessing marine litter and plausible sustainable solutions to address the global marine plastic pollution issue.
The workshop had four major sessions; the magnitude of the marine litter problem-monitoring program and research on plastic debris in the Indo-Pacific Region; best practices and technologies; solutions to prevent plastic pollution; and polymers and plastics: technology and innovations and opportunities for regional collaboration to remediate or stop plastic pollution. The sessions involved panel discussions and interactive break-out sessions to encourage discussion amongst participants from East Asia Summit countries.
The East Asia Summit (EAS) is the premier forum for discussions on important strategic issues in the Indo-Pacific and a leading confidence-building mechanism. Since its inception in 2005, the EAS has been advocating regional peace, security, closer regional cooperation and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean region. The EAS is uniquely placed to share expertise and lessons learned between regions and sub-regions faced with interlinked and similar challenges to develop sustainable transboundary solutions. EAS countries recognise the coastal and marine plastic pollution challenge. The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, had announced the agenda of promoting maritime cooperation in the wider Indo-Pacific region at the 14th EAS held in Bangkok in November 2019. India, Singapore, and Australia are committed to implementing the EAS decisions.
This workshop provided an impetus to EAS countries for exploring and informing each other about the challenges, questions, and solutions to marine litter – especially plastic research, use, design, disposal, recycling, and future collaborations for a plastic-free and healthy ocean for sustainable development through knowledge partners – the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR), Chennai, an attached office of Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), the Government of Singapore and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia. Dr M Ravichandran, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, delivered the keynote address at the workshop. He suggested considering the application of technological tools such as remote sensing, artificial intelligence and machine learning to map the distribution of marine plastics and developing models to understand the dynamics of plastics in the Indian ocean. He also emphasized that a well-designed and tailor-made management strategy considering regional distinctiveness will significantly reduce plastics in the environment.
The report mentions that between 2016 and 2021, Mumbai lost 2,028 hectares of urban tree cover that is equal to the size of about one-and-a-half Aarey Milk Colony which is spread on 1,300 hectares. This loss has contributed to emission of 19,640.9 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Yanking The Yamuna out of A Mess: Delhi to Have India’s Largest Sewage Treatment Plant Ready by December
If all goes as planned, Delhi will have India’s biggest sewage treatment plant (STP) ready to pump out 564 million litres of treated water on a daily basis. With the work advancing at a fast pace, the new plant being constructed in Okhla along with two other STPs will help the national capital to prevent 1,362 MLD of dirty water from choking the Yamuna, which is currently among the most severely polluted rivers in the world.
“Yamuna is a high priority for us. It hasn’t got its due, but we are committed to reviving it,” G Asok Kumar, director general, National Mission for Clean Ganga, told News18. “We are pushing the work very hard and all three STPs at Rithala, Kundli, and Okhla should be ready by the end of the year. So we can begin the trial runs that might take another 2-3 months. By March 2023, we should have all three up and running."
Being built at a cost of Rs 665 crore, the Okhla plant with a capacity of 564 MLD is not only India’s largest but is also believed to be one of the biggest sewage treatment plants in Asia. Of the other two, one at Kundli with an overall capacity of 204 MLD is being built at an overall cost of Rs 239 crore, while the other at Rithala has a capacity of 182 MLD and is being built at a cost of Rs 211 crore.
“Overall, Delhi will be able to treat as much as 1,362 MLD of dirty water falling into the Yamuna, which will be a big boon for the river,” said Kumar, exuding confidence. “If that treated water can be put back into the river, we can improve the quality of flow as well.”
The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) along with the Delhi Jal Board is now racing against time to ensure the major construction work is completed before the monsoon rains. “The work got delayed earlier because we were awaiting some tree-cutting permissions to come through. We have now readied an action plan, put additional manpower, and ordered the requisite machinery, so that we are on top of it by the time monsoon starts," said Kumar, apprehending potential delay in October-November when a spike in air pollution forces the closure of all construction activities.
Meanwhile, the massive 318 MLD Coronation Pillar Sewage Treatment Plant constructed by L&T at a cost of Rs 515 crore has also been completed and is ready for trial runs. The plant is expected to treat at least 10 per cent of the wastewater generated in Delhi per day.
Rs 2,354 crore for 12 projects in Delhi
Overall, as many as 12 projects worth Rs 2,354 crore are currently under way for the treatment of 1,385 MLD sewage under the Namami Gange Programme in Delhi. Apart from the new plants, a lot of restoration work is underway to fix the existing ones and expand their efficiency. Several of these were either lying non-functional or were largely under-utilised.
Delhi, which is among the most polluted capital cities in the world, generates an estimated sewage flow of 3,273 MLD out of which 2,340 MLD is being treated against the installed capacity of 2,624 MLD, according to government data. At least 933 MLD of untreated sewage is currently being discharged into the Yamuna, which has turned toxic because of the high amount of pollutants in it.
According to experts, apart from execution delays, the problem of untapped drains (nallah) which are dumping sewage water directly into the river has been another huge challenge. At some points, it gets mixed with treated water coming out from the STPs. At least 19 such drains have been identified on the western side of the river, which also overflow during monsoons. The disposal of sludge has been a predicament as well, and the government is seeking industries’ support to help convert it into manure, which can then be made available to farmers in nearby villages.
“Now, the thrust area is to have smaller STPs ((50-100 kilolitre per day). In the longer run, it is the smaller STPs that will solve the bigger problem. If we can build smaller units in colonies, then there will be no need to transport sewage water for miles to get treated. We are running out of space, and instead of bigger projects that take a long time, we need to focus on smaller, localised solutions,” said Kumar.