Can the Yamuna be cleaned, the Finnish way? (With Image)April 5th, 2010 - 1:36 pm ICT by IANS
By Nishant Arora
Lahti (Finland), April 5 (IANS) If there is will power and a clear vision, the now dying Yamuna river in India can be saved, says an expert from Finland where the once sewage Lake Vesijärvi now provides crystal clear water to people in this country.
Vesijärvi, near this Finnish city, was a sewage and industrial wastewater dump 30 years ago, just like the Yamuna is for New Delhi. In the 1980s, a campaign was launched to revitalise the entire 111-sq km stretch and improve the quality of water.
Today, it is one of nearly 60,000 lakes, out of 180,000 that dot this Nordic country, providing potable water to 5.3 million people.
A similar campaign now aims to see the Yamuna — one of the most polluted and toxic waterways in the world — regain its old glory by 2015.
“To clean the 22-km long stretch of Yamuna, the same miracle model of Vesijärvi can be used,” said Kaj Jansson, vice president for research and technology with Kemira, one of the world’s three leading water chemical companies.
“Believe me, much more than funds, it takes strong will power and a clear vision to save rivers,” Jansson told IANS.
So where do Finns see a possibility to clean the drainage called Yamuna?
“Finland has the technology to clean rivers like Yamuna. New Delhi needs clean water for its 16 million residents. So this expertise can certainly come in handy,” said Nina Harjula, the development manager with the Lahti Science and Business Park.
The park is home to the third largest business incubator in Finland and coordinates the development of the national Cleantech Cluster.
Heikki Tallgren, managing director of Waterix, a market leader in Finland in natural water aeration, said: “We can provide surface water areators that works in cleaning natural bodies of water, for municipal and industrial waste water treatment to the Indian government. Waterix is also capable of providing tailor-made solutions which fit into the customer’s process perfectly.
Said Jansson: “Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has announced Rs.500 crore (82 million Euro) for 2010-11 for Ganga clean-up. Also, the government has spent over Rs.5,000 crore (820 million Euro) on cleaning the Yamuna till now.
“Compared to this, the lake Vesijärvi clean-up budget was minuscule. In the year of the Commonwealth Games when the world will be looking at India, it is probably the right time to look beyond the available means to provide clean water to its billion-plus population,” added Jansson.
Kemira and Finland’s Technical Research Centre VTT have recently announced the setting up of a major water research centre to turn clean water into a high-end industrial product.
(Nishant Arora can be contacted at email@example.com)
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