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DRDO signs MoU with Maha-Metro for implementation of Advanced Biodigester Mk-II Technology

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DRDO Signs MOU with MAHA-METRO for implementation of Advanced Biodigester Mk-II TechnologyOn January 5, 2021, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) & Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation (MAHA-METRO) signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) through which DRDO will provide technical support for the implementation of advanced biodigester Mk-II technology for treatment of human waste (night soil) in the metro rail network.

i.The biodigester units (a non-sewered sanitation technology) will help in conserving water & protecting the environment.

ii.The agreement was signed by Dr DK Dubey, Director of DRDE, Gwalior & Atul Gadgil, Director, Maha-Metro Rail Corporation Limited, Pune.  The agreement was exchanged by  Dr AK Singh, Distinguished Scientists & Director General-Life Sciences, DRDO Headquarters, New Delhi on behalf of DRDO & Dr Brijesh Dixit, Managing Director, Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) on behalf of Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation.

Biodigester Technology:

i.It converts human waste in usable water and gases, which will be used for cooking and water for  irrigation purposes.

ii.During the process the fecal matter is dumped into a tank which is filled with  bio  digesting bacteria, which will degrade the fecal matter.

Key Points:

i.The Biodigester is an indigenous, green & cost-effective technology and was originally  developed for the armed forces in high altitude Himalayan regions which include Leh-Ladakh & Siachen Glacier.

ii.The Indian Railways has installed around 2.40 Lakh Biodigesters in its passenger coaches.

iii.The Mk-II Technology  being used for MAHA-METRO is a revamped & improvised version.  The new improvements have increased the bio-degradation efficiency, design modification & addition of secondary treatment modules.

Demonstration of Mk-II Biodigester in Dal Lake, J&K:

i.A customized version of Mk-II Biodigester to treat human waste generated from houseboats in Dal Lake was demonstrated by DRDO to Jammu & Kashmir  (J&K) Administration.

ii.Lakes & Waterways Development Authority (LWDA) of J&K Administration started the process to acquire 100 units of Mk-II Biodigester for civil habitats around Dal Lake to reduce water pollution.

iii.The implementation of Biodigester Mk-II is monitored by a committee of experts formed by the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir. The committee is led by Dr E Sreedharan, Former MD of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).

iv.The technology is expected to reduce the Dal Lake pollution.

Recent Related News:

i.June 2, 2020,  Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Science(INMAS) a Delhi based laboratory of DRDO in association with Gel Craft Healthcare Private Ltd., Ghaziabad developed “Ultra Swachh”, a disinfection unit to disinfect Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), electronic items, fabrics and other materials.

About Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO):
Chairman – G Satheesh Reddy
Headquarters– New Delhi

About Maharashtra Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MAHA-METRO):
Chairman – Durga Shanker Mishra
Headquarters – Nagpur, Maharashtra