IIT Kharagpur to establish Re-Water Research Centre

In an apparent effort to replenish and rejuvenate water resources, the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT-Karagpur) is establishing a Re-Water Research Centre, a statement issued by the Institute said. The new set up will be seed-funded by two alumni members, which will help the Institute to find solution to the twin issues of sewage disposal and access to clean potable water, which the country is facing now. The release was issued coinciding with its 68th Foundation Day.

Meeting the Twin Challenges

Aneesh Reddy, one of the alumni members noted that the scarcity of water for drinking as well as domestic purposes is growing acute and is likely to worsen in the coming years. What is more, urban centres are facing humongous sewage issues. Apparently, the idea of linking these two burning issues and coming up with one viable solution has become all the more cumbersome. “Christened as Aditya Choubey Centre for Re-Water Research, the new set up will liaise with various government agencies and take up this technology and the process in order to meet the water challenge in various cities”, Reddy added.

Prof. NM Ghangrekar, Faculty at the Department of Civil Engineering, who is heading this project said, “We will conduct quality assurance tests demonstrating the suitability of the technology for treatment of sewage and the suitability of the treated water for consumption and infuse confidence among all agencies and the public at large related to water supply, treatment.”

The researchers will also be developing an operationally viable technology so that the plant can be profitably commercialised.  “The project is being developed to attract potential entrepreneurs and government agencies to take up sewage treatment at a large scale and with a business model for banks to gain confidence in funding such businesses,” alumni Anant Choubey said.

Director, IIT KGP, Prof P P Chakrabarti said that similar models of water sustainability have been adopted in foreign countries. “We are looking forward to participatory models in villages to implement this technology. We would also engage international water experts and professionals from the industry as researchers and advisors in this centre. Aneesh and Anant will be advisers as well,” he added.

Water Conversion

The Institute is setting up an on-campus plant which will daily convert 1.35 million litre of sewage water from the hostels to 1.2 million litre of potable water. The pilot plant at IIT Kharagpur is likely to be ready by March 2019. The water processing and output will be monitored in real-time and conform to IS 10500-2012 standard for drinking water. “We will conduct quality assurance tests demonstrating the suitability of the technology for treatment of sewage and the suitability of the treated water for consumption and infuse confidence among all agencies and the public at large related to water supply, treatment” Prof.Ghangrekar added.

Furthermore, the researchers would be developing an operationally viable technology so that the plant can be profitably commercialized. “We are working towards bringing down the cost to less than Rs. 10 per kilo litre. This will allow the manufacturer to invest the additional fund towards setting up more plants in the urban areas. The project is being developed to attract potential entrepreneurs and government agencies to take up sewage treatment at a large scale and with a business model for banks to gain confidence in funding such businesses.” Anant Choubey said.

Image source: IIT website

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