An innovative, simple and effective Bio-remediation Sewerage Geotube Treatment System was inaugurated recently by GIWA and Ganga Action Parivar  at the Chandrabhaga Nala in Rishikesh, which had until now, been spewing raw sewage from hundreds of households directly into the River Ganga.

According to Niti Ayog, 70% of India’s drinking water is contaminated. The River Ganga, the source of life to over 500 million people, is polluted by some 3 billion litres of human sewage every day, due to a lack of the treatment facilities, causing countless people to fall every year from water-bourne diseases.

GIWA and Ganga Action Parivar, are looking towards facilitating on-site solutions that require little infrastructure and are easy to set-up and scale across the nation.  The aim  is to meet the BIS Standard Water vide Class B IS: 2296-1982 wherein the coliforms will be reduced to 500/100 ml from the current 50,000/100 ml.

In this first trial project, GeoTube membranes were set-up in a course of a little over a week. This unique system, which is being used to manage chemical and sewage waste in the West, first coagulates the solid from the liquid part of the wastewater, then pumps the water through large Geotube membranes that further trap the solid waste and sludge. This treats the water by some 80-90%, enabling water that is black with human waste to become clear.

Attending the inauguration  were Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Shri Trivendra Singh Rawatji, GIWA Founder, HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, Hon’ble Speaker Legislative Assembly, Shri Prem Chand Aggarwalji, Director General Namami Gange, Government of India Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishraji, Chief Secretary Uttarakhand Shri Utpal Kumar Singhji, Honble Principal Secretary for Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Govt of Uttarakhand, Shri Arvind Singh Hyanki, Hon’ble Ambassador of Costa Rica Ms Mariela Cruz, Famous Artist Ms Rouble Nagi, Founder of Misaal Mumbai initiative and many others.

Said HH Pujya Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji, “The need of the hour is to become a bridge and serve to convert places of waste and filth into places of wealth and faith. This is the commitment that we have taken to work with the Government to find and implement technological solutions that can make the waters of the River Ganga clean, green and serene for all. It is in this spirit that I envisioned to make this nala an example of how a sewage point can be converted into a selfie point.”

Said Hon’ble Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Shri Trivendra Singh Rawatji, “I am committed to making the River Ganga free of all drains and wastewater contamination by 2020. This is a great step in that direction. I believe when the government, the people, the civil society organisations come together with the blessings and commitment of our spiritual leaders to tackle and address real life problems and challenges, then the solutions are not far. I am glad to see that everyone is coming forward from all walks of life and every background to be a part of the solution and answer the call to action that our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji has given us to ensure a clean National River for all.”

Said Director General Namami Gange, Government of India Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishraji, “The Namami Gange Mission is committed and working actively and  swiftly to address the challenges that threaten our National River, and I am glad to see that short term and effective solutions such as this technology can illustrate yet another way our government’s great commitment to this mission.”

The Chief Secretary of Uttarakhand, Shri Utpal Kumar Singhji added his words of appreciation and shared that the Uttarakhand Government is committed to finding solutions to the pollution threatening not just the River Ganga, but for  all water bodies that eventually mix and merge with our bigger rivers and water bodies. He shared that whether its the Rispina or the River Ganga, the government is eager and committed to finding solutions that will restore and rejuvenate them.

Hon’ble Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Shri Prem Chand Aggarwalji, shared that he was glad to see the start of this initiative from his home constituency and appreciated that such solutions to restore and protect our rivers were being celebrated and inaugurated.

A special mention and appreciation was given to a filmmaker, Vikas (Dhiragayu Bhava), who was present on the occasion and who made a film that went viral. The video was  shared and liked by more then 7 crore people, just a month before the inauguration on the same Nala, urging all not to drink Ganga water from Rishikesh and Haridwar due to the pollution from this nala. He expressed his warm sentiment that the problem was being directly and quickly addressed through the GeoTube trial.