Second Phase Of LOTUS-HR Project Launched

  • On 14th October, 2019, India and Netherlands launched the second phase of the Local Treatment of Urban Sewage streams for Healthy Reuse(LOTUS-HR) plant as a part of joint collaboration in New Delhi.
  • The launch programme was held during the visit of Netherlands King and the Queen to the India-Netherlands water laboratory at the Barapullah drain in Delhi.


  • To develop universal water management and risk assessment strategies that are applicable for megacities all around the world
  • To demonstrate a novel holistic waste-water management approach that will produce clean water that can be reused for various purposes (e.g. industry, agriculture, construction etc.)
  • To recover nutrients and energy from the urban waste water, thus converting drain into profitable mines

Need for the Project

  • The Barapullah drain, where the pilot of the program is being implemented, witnesses the flow of 1.6 million litres of waste water produced by New Delhi which eventually drains in to the Yamuna River polluting it severely.
  • New Delhi is also dependent on the water from the Yamuna thereby further contributing to water scarcity and treatment costs.

About LOTUS-HR Project

  • The project was started in 2017 at the Sun Dial Park, New Delhi as part of collaboration between the governments of India and the Netherlands.
  • The project is jointly supported by the Department of Biotechnology of the Indian government's Ministry of Science and Technology and Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research/STW of the government of the Netherlands.
  • IIT-Delhi and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) are partners in this project.
  • The programme consists of 3 research line-
    1. Water Reuse Safety Plans and their socioeconomic and legal impact in combination with quantitative risk assessments of the produced water qualities.
    2. Focus on the pre- and post-treatment of wastewater from the Barapullah drain, to make it available for safe reuse.
    3. Special attention will be paid to pathogen removal and removing conventional and emerging pollutants.
  • A Hybrid Anaerobic Reactor is being used to the waste water. The idea behind it is that is that these bacteria not only eat away the pollutants but also generate methane gas which can be used later for feeding a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC), compact wastewater treatment and anaerobic digestion followed by flotation, high production photobioreactors(PBR) and compact easy replaceable wetlands, based on innovative filling material (e.g. Hydrorock).
  • Plant has capacity to convert 10 lakh litres of sewage to 3 tonne of bio-fuel per day.

Wet Lab

Jointly supported by Department of Biotechnology and Netherlands Enterprise Agency, WetLab is a competition that will enable unique learning and networking for young India and Dutch professionals and students.


  • It aims to build a platform for innovative ideas to solve India’s urban water challenges and contribute to cleaning up India’s rivers.


  • The intent of Wet lab is focussed on making best ideas becoming an input for the realisation of the Water Experience Center that may further lead to turning the project site into an attractive center for education and technology demonstration for students, young professionals and creating opportunities for startups.


  • Sustainable Business Model: The Indo-Dutch collaboration would pave new ways to create techno entrepreneurship and encourage a sustainable business model to convert sewage water into clean water for healthy re-use.
  • Market Development for Water Reuse Strategies: Thiswill leadto development of reliable technologies, tools, models and approaches for local stakeholders enabling market development for water reuse strategies and solutions for other Indian Mega Cities.
  • Tool-Box Treatment Technology: This pilot scale facility will employ multiple technologies so that the data generated at the pilot scale becomes a tool-box of treatment technologies for replication at other sites in Delhi as well as other parts of India where similar drains exist.
  • Ground water Recharge:This collaborationwill help in the revamping of drains and will play an important role in aiding ground water recharge which in the long run will provide water for potable and non-potable purposes.
  • Boost to Swachh Bharat Abhiayaan: This initiative will provide a boost to the attempt to meet the goals set by the Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan and contribution of the Department of Biotechnology, “Swachhta Hi Seva” movement launched by Prime Minister recently.

Way Forward

  • Wastewater treatment infrastructure available is highest in the metropolitan cities; even there the gap between wastewater generated and treated is considerable with the population and wastewater generated increasing day by day. The existing treatment capacity is not fully utilized in most cities because of lack of sewage pipe lines bringing sewage to the treatment plants
  • Thus, there is a need for new wastewater infrastructure construction and improvement of the existing wastewater treatment systems. Upgrading of the wastewater treatmenttechnologies also needs to be undertaken, for better treatment of the sewage.
  • There is also a need for renovation of the sewer system from time to time. New wastewater treatment systems need to be constructed with more focus on economic viability and environmental sustainability. Importance should also be given to create awareness on sanitation and pollution issues among users so that their cooperation in maintaining their own environments can be assured
  • Given the magnitude of the problem, wastewater treatment in India cannot be just government responsibility. The truth is that the government simply does not have the resources to meet the massive demand. The obvious solution is to look for private-public partnership. By inviting private partnership in wastewater and sewage management, we can take advantage of better technology and localized systems and find efficiency.
  • An integrated approach needs to be evolved balancing infrastructural and socio-economic measures for water quality management.
  • Further success of the ongoingSwachh Bharat campaign will beensured only if water is available in the toilets constructed and if the wastewater generated isalso treated and the treated water reused or disposed-off in a sustainable manner.