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Dutch to help clean Delhi's drain

New Delhi, September 9, 2016, DHNS 0:08 IST
Scientists collect samples from the Barapullah drain.
Indian biotechnologists have tied up with researchers from the Netherlands to clean up one of Delhi's most polluted drains, Barapullah Nullah, using a combination of scientific tools.

In the next five years, a waste water treatment plant to make the filthy water potable would be set up besides removing heavy metals from the water for reuse. On Thursday, scientists from two counties met at the Barapullah Nullah to pick up samples, marking the project's roll-out. Department of Biotechnology secretary K Vijay Raghavan, Ambassador of Netherlands to India Alphonsus Stoelinga and Delhi Development Authority vice-chairman Arun Goel were present at the event.

Barapullah Nullah is a 12.5 km-long storm water drain responsible for about 30% of pollution in the Yamuna river, collecting domestic sewage and polluting waste from small industry from Mehrauli in the south to Sarai Kale Khan in the east.

Once a tributary of the Yamuna, four of Delhi’s seven ancestral habitations Qila Rai Pithora, Mehrauli, Siri and Tughlakabad came up on its banks. In the past, it sustained green patches like Jahanpanah city forest, Siri forest and verdant spaces around Satpula. Restoration of the drain, architects say, would not only help provide a green lung to the heavily polluted national capital but also rejuvenate the ecology over a long tract. The Indo-Dutch collaboration would be led by Delft University of Technology and Indian Institute of Technology with support and contribution from major Dutch companies like Shell.

“Most of our technology choices would be biological in nature. We would also involve the National Environment Engineering Research Institute and The Energy and Resources Institute for the project over the next five years,” principal investigator T R Sreekrishnan, professor at the IIT, told DH.

While the Netherlands committed €14,70,000 (approximately Rs 11 crore) towards the project, the DBT would not only match the amount but is likely to allocate more.

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