Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) here are working on technological and social interventions to address the challenge of blocked sewage drains in Delhi by reducing and recycling part of the wastes. The multi-agency project in partnership with East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) is being implemented on Delhi's Gokulpuri and Babarpur (52 cusecs) drains and a small Bhagwanpuri drain connecting the two, engaging key stakeholders that include citizens as well as policy makers.
"All the drains are clogged with very high quantities of municipal waste, especially plastic. The clogged drains are a major source of environmental and disease burden," says Principal Investigator (PI) of the project Satyananda Kar, Centre for Energy Studies. "The main objective of the project is to develop technological solutions to clean three urban drains in Delhi, demonstration of how to collect, segregate the reusable or recyclable wastes and decomposition of non-biodegradable waste by plasma pyrolysis technology and energy generation," he added.
IIT Delhi will lead the project in partnership with DESMI EnviRO-Clean, a technology firm with key expertise in remediation and removal of waste from water bodies and Vertiver Private Ltd, a social enterprise specializing in sustainability-based behaviour change communications and knowledge management.
Talking about the major challenges, Kar said that effectively measuring baseline and post project scenarios of waste in drains to demonstrate the impact of proposed solutions was important.
"There is also a strong need to demonstrate behavioural and social change and their impact on the three drains. After successful demonstration of waste management and generation of energy from waste in East Delhi, this 'waste to wealth' mission would be extended to other urban areas," he said.