Best of the technologies in wrong hands will fail

Best of the technologies in wrong hands will fail

The good PPP model in water is yet to evolve. However for the desalination there are good set examples to follow, says Dinesh Yadav, Director & CEO, Arvind Envisol and Chairman, CII Gujarat State

What are your views on the current scenario of water and waste water management in India? Of late, how is the water and waste water management shaping up in India?
Water and waste water sector in India is fast climbing up the priority rank like never before, though not enough yet. Increasing awareness at all levels of society and fear of consequences even to our lives are the growth engine for this sector. Cost and non-availability of water are also the equally strong drivers. Industrial waste water was not being properly treated and discharged for decades. Now we are going to other extreme of zero liquid discharge. This puts industry at disadvantage initially but I believe soon it will become an advantage! As world too is left with no option in near future. We all see the trend on environment becoming very strong in our nearest rival, China. Having got the due importance and attention, the stake holders are yet struggling to imply a right technology for their application. There are many claimers and fewer performers. The bigger issue is the Operation and Maintenance (O&M). Yet there is lack of will to run the plant for cost reasons and operating challenges. In addition there is dearth of skill operators and engineers to run the plants as desired. Equally bigger issue is with domestic waste water. About 70% not being treated! And this being discharged on land, fields, fresh water bodies, rivers and so on, is the biggest environmental negligence today causing havoc. This shall be stopped now and here without any delay. However, the silver line is awareness about the serious consequences is bringing the attention of the decision makers. More and more focus is now on building the plants and making the existing plant operative. Domestic water reuse is gaining the momentum and rightly so. As this is the most docile effluent to treat and recycle. Stake holders are now quickly trying to understand the alternate technologies to be efficient and cost effective as by-pass is no more an option! A lot need to do yet on agriculture sector, the one which consumes the most.

Can you please take us through your water and waste water vertical? What are the services in water and waste water you offer for the Indian market?
We at Envisol provide end to end solution to Industrial as well as the domestic waste water. We are a technology driven company having more than 22 patents with us. We provide design to commission ZLD plants in all types of industries with robust after sales support. We are one stop solution for all. Our strong design team understand the specific pain points of customer and accordingly suggest the technology more relevant to the given situation. Other than lower capex and opex which is common for all, smaller footprint, lesser civil work, lower project construction period, ease of operation and maintenance are our specific offerings. We are known for 100% recycling ie, Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) Solution provider. Hence our system design is by default very robust and efficient as there is no bypass option. In India we are seeing more and more projects with ZLD are coming in our way in parallel with many existing units we are converting to ZLD. Globally no one can beat us on the operating cost of our patented evaporation technology. That is the reason we have licensed this technology to developed countries like Germany and Hungary to name few. China now is coming up as very interesting and very large market for us. And we are executing three additional big CETP with ZLD projects in Ethiopia with one already built and being operated by us for last two years, successfully. Thus while market in India is shaping up well for us, we at Envisol are serving the globe in a very competitive way.

How has been the growth of your water and waste water vertical in the last four years?
We had started with our patented state-of-the-art evaporator technology for ZLD solution which though was a small market, was the really pain point for the Industry. Having established as biggest problem part solution provider, we soon became the customer choice to complete solution provider. Today we do complete design to commission extended to O & M of the plants. We have our unique solutions from primary, secondary, tertiary to ZLD, and that too in all industry sectors, be it textile, metal, food and beverage  ….We have grown at 70% CAGR in last four year and have established as one point, end to end solution provider. Strong water expert team and technology basket on our side is the key to success. We are seeing even more exciting prospects in coming days.

What are the challenges faced by water and waste water management players in India?
There is acute shortage of quality O & M personnel at all levels. We lack the educated customers. Water management companies also have lot of options to offer to confuse! In government projects yet good players are scared of dealing with the system the way it is. Most of the contracts are impractical, one sided and are being interpreted and implemented even more unprofessionally. The problem starts with wrong survey and wrong DPR and only ends with contractors being blamed for everything. Here, the vendor stands to lose his money in all circumstances. The good PPP model in water is yet to evolve. However for the desalination there are good set examples to follow. The pricing of the water is yet being discovered. People mind set to pay price for water is yet to evolve for domestic use.

The government has taken various initiatives for the growth of water and waste water sector, but still the sector lags behind among other infrastructure sectors. What are the policies and regulatory challenges hindering the growth of water and waste water sector in India?
For sewage water treatment and recycling has to be made mandatory. This will not only save fresh water in a big way but will reduce the environment and hygiene hazard substantially. This will largely clean many Ganges of our country. One can only imagine the consequential benefits partially. Uniform policy for Industrial waste water across the sector across the nation is must. And Common Effluent Treatment plants are to be made ZLD for them to perform or perish. Agriculture water use need to be optimized substantially and whatever financial and technology support needed shall be provided. Believe me the payback will be very attractive if we consider the impact of it today on environment, water scarcity, power scarcity, health and hygiene, crop efficiency to farmers poverty and GDP of the country.

What are the Global Good Practices in waste water management that you would like to see implemented in India?
Water use efficiency standards, water pricing, utilization of sewage waste water, conservation of our water bodies, and rivers is what we have to learn from the world. Utilization of sea water smartly and preserving the sea water resource with the bio-diversity at the shore and in the sea is another priority propping up to learn and implement.

Many a times waste water management projects despite proper implementation have failed to function properly due to lack of skilled manpower / operators. What are the steps that can be taken by government as well as private players to increase skilled manpower in waste water management sector?
Definitely, best of the technologies in wrong hands will fail. The government needs to include more of skill development programs in this area. The syllabus at all levels needs to be updated with the technology pace. There is acute need to have a course on plant operation specially - to understand the water chemistry and operate the plant accordingly -  is the key learning to be imparted. The successfully operated plants need to have more apprentices mandatorily, to augment the quality work force. Practical hand on training is the must to be part of the curriculum. Installing simulators for water chemistry v/s operational changes can really make the learning more meaningful and faster.

With the focus increasingly becoming environment centric with ‘Sustainability’ as the buzz word, where do you see your services placed in this wave. Please share your views.
I can proudly say we have addressed the pain points of the customers and that is the secret of our success. Having, done that we have enabled our customers to comply. Today we recycle more than 100 MLD and this number will only grow in future. This much water conservation and elimination of environment impact of this, is our real earning. And our efforts to serve the customer are yet on, as we feel what we have done is not enough. We are set to introduce game changing technologies to enable more and more compliance. Enabling the compliance and sustainability is the bigger cause we are serving.

With environmental norms getting stringent and havoc of environmental at its worst, the need for water and waste water management is now more than ever. What are your plans for the next three years to minimize environmental degradation?
Our aim is to enable water conservation, to enable water recycling up to last drop, real ZLD. If the stake holders are given the affordable, hassle free solution - each one of us striving to save water –will adopt it and implement. Instead of command and control support to solve is the best strategy. Our beginning of pipe solutions can go a long way in minimizing the impact. We know prevention is more prudent strategy to restoration. Providing better and better solutions for the RO reject, sewage recycling and harnessing the sea water more efficiently will be our key service to this cause. In three years not only we execute more of projects in multiplication of 100 MLD and recycle more water but our technology and solutions shall also be available to other players in this field to have larger and speedy impact is our goal.

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