‘Save Palar using bio-metallurgy’

Published: 05th April 2013 08:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th April 2013 08:19 AM   |  A+A-

Vellore MP Abdul Rahman has urged the Union Minister for Environment and Forest Jayanthi Natarajan to devise a plan to reverse the damage to the ecology of the Palar river basin using the proven bio-metallurgy technology used across the world. The technique can be used to remove heavy metals in both water and soil.

In a memorandum addressed to the minister, Rahman, her quoted a news report that was published by The New Indian Express here, dated 25 January 2013, titled ‘Bio-metallurgy may help in Palar clean-up: Expert,’ and said the technology should be utilised to clean up the Palar river as claimed by the emeritus professor K A Natarajan at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The professor had come to VIT University to address a technical symposium. In a special interview to Express, he had expressed confidence that in-situ remediation approach would help in removing pollutants in a safe and cost effective manner, without causing further damage to the eco-system.

According to professor Natarajan, pollution sites had developed some kind of affinity to certain micro organisms which could be isolated and used to remove the chemical pollutants.

Rahman said as the Palar river was highly polluted by the chemical effluents dumped by leather industries and drainage, the government of Tamil Nadu had been fighting hard to free the river from pollution for a long time. A host of chemicals, dyes and  heavy metals in the effluents had contaminated the river basin, underground water table and the soil, creating an artificial scarcity of drinking water and a dip in farming activities. The contamination of the river bed and the underground water sources continued to pose challenges.

“This is where the suggestion made by professor Natarajan could be explored to revive Palar river to its old glory,” Rahman said, adding, the expert had applied the bio-metallurgy technology in Odisha. Chile had used this technology in the production of safe and clean copper. A similar method adopted by professor Natarajan in a gold mine in Karnataka had given good results.

Rahman said the government of India should initiate a pilot project in Vellore district to apply the bio-metallurgy  technology and emulate the results in other parts of the country, he added.


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