Neeri bags award for tech to treat flowing wastewater


Nagpur: City’s National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (Neeri) has bagged the National Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Technology award 2020 for its first-of-its-kind technology of treating flowing wastewater.

In April 2018, TOI was the first to report about the Restoration of Nullahs and Ecological Units (RENEU) technology, a pilot experiment that was done in the city at Neeri headquarters. Since last year, the technology is cleaning around six drains that are close to the ‘Sangam point at the site of Kumbh Mela and eventually meet Ganga River in Prayagraj.

“The six drains lead to one bigger channel which flows straight down to the Sangam point. Since we have implemented the technology there, the water quality has improved tremendously. Almost all the parameters meet the norms prescribed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB),” said Atya Kapley, senior principal scientist and head of Director’s Research Cell at Neeri.

Highlighting that the technology aims at tackling the lack of sewage management in the country, the scientist added, “Majority of the cities across India do not have proper sewage network. Hardly 30% of the sewage water reached the treatment plant, the rest all get discharged directly into water bodies. RENEU technology works like a mobile sewage treatment plant (STP).”
A team of scientists including Kapley, Ritesh Vijay, Hemant Bherwani, Rita Dhodapkar, and Tuhin Banerjee developed the technology under the leadership of Neeri director Rakesh Kumar.

According to Vijay, who is the senior principal scientist and head of Neeri’s Centre for Strategic Urban Management, the technology is being implemented in various cities including Mumbai, Daman, Ulhasnagar, and Pune. The institute also plans to implement it at 10 drains in Gorakhpur. “RENEU is planned to get implemented in 100 more drains across the country in over five states including but not limited to UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, and Delhi,” stated a press release issued by Neeri.

As per scientists, the technology involves five major steps for cleaning. “All-natural components like Phyto-traps, solar diffused aeration, light-weighted building material, and wetland plants to clean the nullah are used. No chemicals are required in this treatment,” added Vijay.

Highlighting more about the technology, the release added, “RENEU is different from the conventional STPs as it treats the flowing wastewater in the drain itself. Besides, the technology is economical too and consumes far less time for construction and operation. It eliminates the need for the construction of piping and pumping networks for taking the sewage to STPs.

Source: “The Times of India