Mumbai: In an urgency to show results for Clean Ganga mission, now the Centre is turning to bacterial bioremediation techniques so that the time lag in commissioning of Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) gets cut down.
The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) authority at Bakarganj Nala in Patna has tested this technique successfully and has also recently approved two more pilot projects. One each in Patna and Allahabad and identify further other 54 drains that are across the four states. These states are Uttar Pradesh comprising of 30 drains, West Bengal with 20, Bihar with 3 and Jharkhand with just 1, where bioremediation techniques can be used to prevent polluted water from flowing directly into the Ganga.
Under the bioremediation technique, the activated microbes will eat up contaminants such as oil and organic matter from Ganga. While the bacteria plays a vital role in the treatment of sewage without causing any release of a foul odour, the process thus also reduces stench from raw sewage.
Using Bioremediation on a large-scale and application of ‘sewage-eating microbes’ quickens the process of improvement in the quality of river water, while STPs typically take two to three years to come up.
During this process of treatment, pollutants like heavy metals and toxic chemicals will be reduced. The microbial dosing is done as per the requirement assessed in terms of organic pollutants content in sewage.
NMCG in a note referring to the long gestation period of STPs, said, “Since during the intervening period, sewage continues to flow into river Ganga and its tributaries, there is a need to manage the pollution load by in-situ treatments through various innovative technologies available across the globe. In-situ treatment is simple and easy-to-operate and does not require major modification of the drain.”
In-situ treatment is simple and easy-to-operate and does not require major modification of the drain. The technology is considered to be cost-effective, relatively cheaper than conventional treatment methods. Additionally, easy to handle and does not require skilled manpower to operate.
The NMCG added, “These (bioremediation techniques) are significantly less costly and require much shorter time duration of 6-8 months for commissioning and showing results. Implementing these techniques prevent degraded quality of water from flowing directly into river Ganga and its tributaries.”
The cost could range between Rs. 7 lakh to Rs. 17 crore of the NMCG’s projects, depending on sewage flow into the drain.