Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation (Maha-Metro) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that aims to conserve water and protect the environment by installing DRDO’s eco-friendly biodigester units (a non-sewered sanitation technology) in its facilities.
DRDO will render technical support for the implementation of its advanced biodigester Mk-II technology for the treatment of human waste (night soil) in the metro rail network.
Dr AK Singh, Distinguished Scientist and Director General – Life Sciences, DRDO, and Dr Brijesh Dixit, Managing Director, Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) exchanged the MoU on behalf of their organisations. It was signed by Dr DK Dubey, Director DRDE, Gwalior and Atul Gadgil, Director, Maha-Metro Rail Corporation Limited, Pune.
DRDO’s biodigester is an indigenous, green and cost-effective technology, with a rare distinction of having one of the largest numbers of DRDO-licensees (ToT holders).
A customised version of Mk-II Biodigester, suitable for treating human waste generated from houseboats in Dal Lake was successfully demonstrated by the DRDO to J&K administration. Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LWDA) of the J&K Administration has initiated the process to procure 100 units of Mk-II biodigesters for civil habitats around the Dal Lake so as to minimise water pollution.
The implementation of biodigester Mk-II in Srinagar is being monitored by a committee of experts constituted by the High Court of J&K under the Chairmanship of Dr E Sreedharan, former MD of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). When fully implemented, this green technology will significantly reduce the Dal lake pollution.
Indian Railways has already installed about 2.40 lakh biodigesters in its fleet of passenger coaches. Now, for Maha-Metro, the technology has been revamped and further improved in a bid to save water and space.
This technology is upgraded through improvements in the bio-degradation efficiency, design modification and addition of secondary treatment module. The new reactor is designed to provide more path length with increased biological reaction time, thereby enhancing the bio-degradation efficiency of the system. This technology was primarily developed for the armed forces in high altitude Himalayan regions, including Leh-Ladakh and Siachen glacier.