Source: Times of India
NEW DELHI: The European Union and India on Thursday decided to jointly invest Rs 323 crore on seven projects over four years to find affordable solutions to improving drinking water quality and boosting waste water management in the country.
Around 130 entities will be part of these projects, ranging from universities, research labs, municipalities to private companies. Five IITs of Delhi, Bombay, Guwahati, Bhubaneswar, Roorkee, and CSIR-National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-NEERI) and TERI will also collaborate in the projects.
The projects will not only support the Ganga rejuvenation initiative but also facilitate the transfer of European technologies to India, which would be customised to Indian needs at an affordable cost. The delegation of the European Union to India, the Centre’s department of science & technology and department of biotechnology announced the seven projects selected under the EU-India joint call on research and innovation for water.
Ludo Diels, professor in the University of Antwerp who is also associated with research institute VITO, was part of the EU delegation. He told TOI, “EU and India have already been working on the Water4Crops project. Under the project, we have been using EU technologies to transform waste water into nutrients for plants.” He said, “In India, 65% waste production is organic. We are also using EU technologies to generate biogas from waste water. One of the projects ‘PAVITRA GANGA’ announced today is an advanced level of Water4Crops.”
Tomasz Kozlowski, ambassador of the EU to India, said, “Many of these water challenges are common to India and the EU. India and Europe had, in the past, collaborated intensively on water, enriching each other’s technological and scientific knowledge and management capacities to cope with stress on water resources. The new projects will address key water issues and contribute to sustainable development goals.”
Tania Friederichs, head of research and innovation sector of Delegation of EU to India, told TOI, “These projects have great potential to address water stress in India, thanks to joint efforts being made by leading European and Indian universities and institutes. Participation of small and medium enterprises will allow for deployment of state-of-the-art technologies at affordable prices.”
The seven projects selected are India-H20 (Bio-mimetic and phyto-technologies designed for low-cost purification and recycling of water), LOTUS (Low-cost innovative technology for water quality monitoring and water resources management for urban and rural water systems), PANI WATER (Photo-irradiation and adsorption based novel innovations for water-treatment), PAVITR (Potential and validation of sustainable natural and advance technologies for water and waste water treatment, monitoring and safe water reuse), PAVITRA GANGA (Unlocking waste water treatment, water re-use and resource recovery opportunities for urban and peri-urban areas), SAEASWATI 2.0 (Identifying best available technologies for decentralized wastewater treatment and resource recovery for India) and SPRING (Strategic planning for water resources and implementation of novel biotechnical treatment solutions and good practices).