To save the Yamuna from pollution, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh Friday inaugurated an eco-friendly and economically viable sewage treatment plant at Farah — the birthplace of RSS ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya.
The plant has a capacity to recycle 75,000 litres per day of sewage into agriculture-safe irrigation water by using a new treatment technology developed by the Delhi-based ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI).
“Many villages face the problem of handling wastewater. We are promoting recycling of sewage water across the country. A new plant set up here will help use of treated water for irrigating farm fields,” Singh told reporters after the launch.
The treatment will reduce 75-85 per cent heavy metal pollution from the wastewater, making recycled water completely safe for both agriculture and aquaculture, he added. The plant has been set up with one-time investment of Rs 45 lakh by the central government and will be managed by a trust ‘Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Dham’, IARI’s Water Technology Centre Director Ravinder Kaur told PTI separately. At present, Farah village — which is 32 km away from Mathura — generates around 40,000 litres per day of sewage, which gets disposed of in the Yamuna river in the absence of a cost-effective recycling plant, she said.
There are two major sewage streams in the village. The major stream has been connected to the plant, but to connect the other one, the local body needs to change the direction of its flow, she added. Stating that the new plant is very cost effective, Kaur — who has developed the technology — claimed that it has zero energy, zero-chemical and no skilled manpower demand.
“The operational and maintenance cost of the new plant is nominal and it is less than a rupee per litre when compared to Rs 20-60 per litre from a conventional plant,” she explained.
The official further shared that instead of aerators and chemicals that are normally used by conventional technologies as cleansing agents to decontaminate sewage, the new technology uses native micro-organisms and hyper-accumulator plants. This is a second place where the IARI sewage water technology has been installed — the other one is on its campus in Delhi. At present, urban local bodies show little interest in reclaiming sewage because of high installation and operational and maintenance cost of conventional sewage treatment plants.
Many of these plants, built a decade ago, are either totally dysfunctional or are operating at less than 25 per cent efficiency, Kaur pointed out. Uttar Pradesh Agriculture Minister Surya Pratap Shahi, state junior Agriculture Minister Puran Prakash and ICAR and IARI officials were present at the event. The union minister also inaugurated an agri-fair organised by the National Horticulture Board to mark the birth centenary of the RSS stalwart.