2018 Ganga Rejuvenation Workshop in Varanasi

Wednesday, February 21 – Site visit: Ganga River.
Wednesday, February 21 – Day 1: Presentations about rejuvenating a stretch of Ganga River.
Thursday, February 22 – Day 2: Breakout discussion groups.

On February 21 and 22, IC-IMPACTS, the Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), Varanasi, and the Department of Biotechnology (Government of India) held a workshop in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India.

The workshop brought together Canadian and Indian researchers to develop the scope of a pilot demonstration project for the rejuvenation of River Ganga, which will create scalable solutions that can be implemented in Canada and elsewhere in India. This living laboratory is a collaboration that will demonstrate international research and solutions to effectively clean water systems, particularly in Canada and India.

The pilot demonstration project is anchored at IIT (BHU) in Varanasi and aims to bring the best and most appropriate science and technology interventions to an identified feeder site in River Ganga at Varanasi. The pilot will exemplify:

  • Crowdsourcing of scientists from across India and Canada.
  • Bilateral R&D expertise forged to rejuvenate water from Ganga River in Varanasi.
  • An exemplary site to demonstrate technology intervention to clean a specific polluted site of Ganga River.

Possible Sites for the Pilot Demonstration

  • Site A: Assi River
  • Site B: Area with industrial & domestic pollutants
  • Site C: Area with industrial pollutants
  • Site D: Another site as mutually agreed by implementing agencies

Map of River Ganga in Varanasi with potential sites for the pilot demonstration.

Site visit: Ganga River

The first day of the workshop featured a visit to Ganga River. First, researchers saw the sacred river up close, getting a first-hand look at the pollution dotting the shoreline, in a Nala (tributary), and near a Varanasi ghat.

After discussing some of the challenges of restoring a stretch of the river, researchers were welcomed on board a boat that ferried them along its banks where they saw the river from a different vantage point.

Site visit of a nala and ghat on Ganga River.

 

Site visit of Ganga River from a boat. Left: researchers in a discussion. Middle: Pranav Nagarnaik (left) from CSIR-NEERI, Shapoor Marfatia (middle) from IC-IMPACTS and P. K. Singh (right) from IIT (BHU). Right: Barj Dhahan from IC-IMPACTS.

Day 1 of the workshop

On Day 1 of the workshop, researchers from Canadian and Indian universities and industries gave presentations to introduce themselves and the expertise they could contribute to different aspects of the project. They addressed anticipated goals and outcomes from joint research.

Left: IC-IMPACTS representatives welcomed to IIT (BHU). Middle: Rajiv Prakash and P. K. Singh from IIT (BHU), Barj Dhahan and Shapoor Marfatia from IC-IMPACTS light the candle together to open the session. Right: panellists from DBT, IIT (BHU) and IC-IMPACTS.

Presentations on Day 1 of the Varanasi Workshop. Left (top to bottom): Amit Parikh from DBT, Rajiv Prakash and P. K. Singh from IIT (BHU). Right (top to bottom): Shapoor Marfatia from IC-IMPACTS, Barj Dhahan from IC-IMPACTS, and Shapoor Marfatia with Amit Parikh.

Day 2 of the workshop

On Day 2 of the workshop, researchers from India and Canada along with representatives from industry and government formed small groups and discussed opportunities and potential research projects and initiatives related to rejuvenating Ganga River.Day 2 of the workshop in Varanasi, with Director of IIT (BHU) (Prof. Rajeev Sangal) and other delegates from IIT (BHU), DBT and IC-IMPACTS.