LUDHIANA, April 4: The Union Environment Ministry has finally approved the Bio-Remediation Project for cleaning up the Budda Nullah here. The multi-crore project will be funded 100 per cent by the government of India and represents the largest project of this magnitude undertaken in the country by the ministry.
Disclosing this here today, Ludhiana MP and the national spokesperson of the Indian National Congress Manish Tewari said, this follows the visit of the Minister for Environment and Forests (Independent Charge) Mr Jairam Ramesh to Ludhiana in September last on his (Tewari’s) invitation and the follow up action pursued by him afterwards.The minister, he said, had felt seriously concerned about the debilitating and overwhelming degree to which the Nullah had been polluted due to the presence of untreated waste. “Thereafter the Minister ordered site studies to be undertaken and a proposal for an ‘In Situ Bio-Remediation Project’ was drawn up”, Tewari said, while adding, this revolutionary method, which has been used with great success worldwide, employs the use of microbes to eat away the waste component of effluents that are discharged into the water.
Elaborating upon the project, Tewari said, the ‘In Situ Bio-Remediation’ project will tackle the effluent load of industrial and domestic waste being emptied out into the Buddha Nullah. He said, by erecting ‘green bridges’, i.e. temporary barricades fortified with microbial consortia, the filters will be build through which the untreated waters may pass. With every successive green bridge that the water passes through, there will be an expected reduction in what is known as ‘Bio-chemical oxygen demand’ (BoD) and ‘Chemical oxidation demand’ (CoD) levels. These green bridges will be at set up intervals of one kilometre each or as mandated by the flow and quantum of water found in the Nullah.
The MP said, in effect, the microbial consortia applied in the technology will ‘chew away’ the organic load and industrial pollutants leaving behind only the clean water. The visible impact and benefit of this technology is expected to become manifest in a period of three months, he said, while adding, the BoD load is expected to be reduced by up to 40% along with an apparent reduction of the surrounding odour.
He maintained that the microbial consortia deployed in the use of this technology are harmless and indigenously found in nature. No genetically modified organisms would be used in the execution of this project. This is an environmentally benign process that has no harmful impact on the surrounding ecosystem including on human or animal health.