‘Sludge a gold mine, can produce manure, bricks and more’ | India News


National Mission for a Clean Ganges (NMCG) is responsible for developing a circular economy model focused on the recovery, reuse and recycling of water. Vishwa Mohan spoke to the GM of NMCG gAsok Kumar. Edited excerpts:
Your point of view on the availability and management of water?
Rapid urbanization and industrialization have created a gap between water demand and supply. India is already a “water-stressed” nation and its water demand could exceed availability by more than 50% in 2050. Thus, the need to move towards a circular water economy model is growing. more recognised. But sustainability, resilience and risk mitigation strategies must be integrated into this approach.
What are the achievements of the Clean Ganga Mission with the circular economy model?
NMCG’s innovations like the HAM-PPP (Hybrid Annuity based PPP) model and the One City One Operator model have been very successful and are being adopted in other parts of the country. NITI Aayog prepares standard guidelines for PPP projects in the water sector based on our HAM model. NMCG also supports wastewater reuse initiatives in states adjoining the Ganges.
Does the river rejuvenation approach help achieve circularity?
The monetization of the reuse and recycling of sludge and treated wastewater is one of the six pillars of “Arth Ganga”, our autonomous economic model. Urban local authorities (ULB) are encouraged to adopt revenue generation models as well as the conversion of sludge into useful products such as manure, cobblestones, bricks, etc. The model strives to contribute at least 3% of the GDP of the watershed itself.
Please share examples of ongoing water circularity projects.
Indian Oil Corporation Refinery Tertiary Treatment Plant in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh was set up to supply treated wastewater to the refinery for non-potable purposes. NMCG is in advanced stages of discussions to partner with 11 thermal power generation units to take treated water from their treatment plants for various uses. We also plan to make the best use of sludge from wastewater treatment plants. For example, we can make biogas from sludge. In Dinapur, Varanasi, a 140 MLD (million liters per day) plant generates enough electricity for its needs.
What role can the private sector play?
It is necessary to reduce the use of drinking water for non-drinking purposes, the treatment of waste water can therefore be a lucrative activity for private actors and urban territorial communities. Revenues from treated water used for industrial purposes can also help subsidize drinking water for the poor.

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