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Conference on "Common Effluent Treatment Plants in India: Issues, Challenges, Opportunities & Way Forward"

August 20, 2014 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

GIZ in co-operation with CII–Triveni Water Institute, jointly organized the National Conference on “Common Effluent Treatment Plants in India: Issues, Challenges, Opportunities & Way Forward” on August 20, 2014 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

The National Conference brought various stakeholders together to discuss upon the key aspects related to the Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) and was attended by over 180 delegates representing CETP Operators, State Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporations, State Pollution Control Boards, Central Pollution Control Board, Industry associations and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

In her inaugural address to the participating delegates, Dr Manju Raina, Director (Scientific), MoEFCC, Govt. of India made a plea to embrace an integrated approach of performance improvement by all the stakeholders to see a new phase of evolution in the Indian CETPs. She also highlighted various issues that are plaguing the efficiency of the existing CETPs specially from the planning perspective. Dr. Raina also reiterated that setting up of pilot CETPs would go a long way towards emergence of a feasible and tested mechanism on waste water management in a holistic manner which in turn would greatly help the small scale industries in mitigating the environmental issues.

Dr Dieter Mutz, Director, Indo-German Environment Partnership (IGEP) programme reckoned wastewater as a resource for the future due to ever-increasing pressure from various sectors on limited freshwater. Acknowledging, industrial wastewater treatment as a complex process, he mentioned the need for trained personnel, which is imperative for the higher level of performance of the CETPs.  Dr Mutz also urged the stakeholders to consider replicating the efforts of MoEFCC towards addressing the issue of wastewater being discharged into the River Ganga. He quoted that in limited parts of the country wastewater management has been successful, but a structured framework to ensure efficient management of wastewater by the States is yet to be mooted.

Mr Nazimuddin, Senior Environmental Engineer, Central Pollution Control Board mentioned that some of the main reasons for sub-optimal performance of CETPs may be attributed to the inadequate design to address to change in quality or quantity of effluent and improper operation and maintenance of the CETPs. 

Distinguished speakers from the concerned fields made thematic presentations in the three dedicated technical sessions namely a) Treatment Technologies for CETPs in India, b) Business Models: Models for building and operating CETPs and c) Management and Operation Model for CETPs. Pertinent issues related to each topic were discussed in the Question and Answer session. In the last session of the day, Panel Discussion on Policy Framework for CETPs witnessed threadbare deliberations amongst all the stakeholders. Mr Raghu Babu from GIZ–IGEP shared some of the key policy interventions for promoting sustainable CETPs across the country.

The conference ended with a note that a committee would be formed at the behest of CII-TWI, GIZ and MoEFCC jointly to discuss and pursue the policy issues so that more positive effect on the CETPs functioning and performance could be made in days to come. 

Presentation by Mr. Debajit Das, GIZ