A Webinar on ‘CSIR-CMERI Developed Water Purification Technologies’ was organised by MSME-DI, Guwahati in association with CSIR-CMERI on 9th July, 2021. Prof. Harish Hirani, Director, CSIR-CMERI, was the Chief Speaker for the Virtual Event. Other notable speakers of the Webinar included Shri Debabrata Mitra, Joint Director & Head MSME DI Guwahati, Shri Sunil Kumar of MSME TC, Kolkata, Shri Avik Sharma from Taurus, Dr. Arijit Banerjee besides participating a number of entrepreneurs from Micro and Small Enterprises from the Assam region.
Prof. Harish Hirani, Director, CSIR-CMERI, Durgapur, informed that the thrust towards the Water Purification initiatives of CSIR-CMERI started in 2016, and the Institute was awarded the CSIR Technology Award in 2017 for this purpose. After that, CSIR-CMERI is continuously working upon Incremental Advancement of Water Technologies. The ISO standard IS:10500:2012 is the benchmark for standard Water parameters for Drinking purposes. CSIR-CMERI has recently established a ‘Water Testing Facility’ that evaluates water for numerous vital parameters as per ISO standards. The West Bengal, Pollution Control Board, has recognized the facility. This water testing facility supports the in-house R&D efforts of the Institute as well as assists the MSMEs by providing them appropriate testing infrastructure. The MSMEs can also evaluate the Water Purification Technology Pilot plants CSIR-CMERI, established in the Institute.
In the last few years, CSIR-CMERI has developed a number of Water Purification Technologies and transferred these technologies to 67 MSMEs across the country. Four prominent MSMEs from Assam have already adopted these Technologies. CSIR-CMERI has focused upon the removal of Fluoride, Arsenic, and Iron contamination from Water. Water is abundant in the state of Assam, however, what is lagging is the availability of Water fit for human drinking. Optimum Purification of Water might be the immediate solution to the Safe Water crisis in Assam. Almost every family in Arsenic, Iron, and Fluoride affected regions of Assam suffer from health implications. In Assam, 24 districts are affected by Iron and Arsenic Contamination. It has been primarily due to the over-utilization of groundwater, as the concentration of these contaminants has increased substantially. Recharging and replenishing the Aquifers is a viable option. CSIR-CMERI is fine-tuning a technology that purifies Flood/Sewage Water in-situ on a Mobile Platform and helps in clearing blockages of the drainage systems if it happens. This technology has tremendous potential impact in Flood-Prone regions to help to avoid flooding by clearing choked sewerage and supplying a steady stream of Purified Water for Human Consumption. CSIR-CMERI has also developed a Technology for the rejuvenation of Sewage Water into Water for Drinking and Agricultural consumption. In this regard, CSIR-CMERI is exploring avenues for joint venture Technology Development initiatives and the Public Health Engineering Departments, MSMEs, and CSIR-CMERI through the Public-Private Partnership Model. The Sludge generated from available Arsenic and Fluoride filters has significant risks of leaching the elements back to Water Sources, especially during the rainy season. CSIR-CMERI has evolved a Technology for Upcycling this Sludge into Bricks through an appropriate blending of cement with it.
Shri Debabrata Mitra, Joint Director & Head MSME DI Guwahati welcomed the participants in the webinar and shared that this is the first time in his tenure that MSME DI Guwahati has organized such a fruitful webinar on the vital water purification technology and called upon the participants particularly the MSMEs and entrepreneurs of the North Eastern region to utilize this opportunity through the technology developed by CSIR-CMERI. He expressed concern about the decrease in the level of ground water and increasing contamination for which several sustainable, effective and affordable technologies are required to solve this severe challenge. Shri Mitra stated that Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has been providing financial assistance to the State Governments in providing the drinking and potable water. Presenting the statistical data related to Assam State he mentioned that only 43.8% of rural household in Assam has access to safe dinking water and the rest is still using untreated water which is miserable. He said that what we need is technology but no one technology can fulfil all the criteria. Hence we shall enrich ourselves with the CSIR-CMERI developed water purification technologies so that rural masses with the help of MSMEs are benefited in the North East region.
Shri Sunil Kumar of MSME TC, Kolkata made some queries about the water purification technology for radioactive elements, if any. He also informed that he has established a Lab for which CSIR-CMERI has provided R&D services in the past. He wished to organize a similar programme with CSIR-CMERI in the coming days.
Shri Avik Sharma from Taurus enquired about the technology for the Anganwari Centres for which it was advised that Community Level or High Flow Rate technology would be effective. He stated that as flood problem is huge in the Assam region, he wish to work with CSIR-CMERI for providing its solution and for ensuring drinking water.
Dr. Arijit Banerjee shared his journey in the field of water purification technology particularly his contribution for the ‘Bio Toilets’ at major constructions sites in the country for which sometimes he is so-called as Toilet Man of Bengal.