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IIT-Kharagpur Researchers Turn Odisha Steel Plant’s Dumpsites Into Greenbelt

Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur have transformed Odisha’s steel plants’ dumpsites into greenbelts using traditional Indian organic components and Japanese afforestation techniques

IIT-Kharagpur Researchers Turn Odisha Steel Plant Dumpsites Into Greenbelt

Kolkata: Researchers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur have transformed Odisha’s steel plants’ dumpsites into greenbelts using traditional Indian organic components and Japanese afforestation techniques. According to the team, a drive through the Dhenkanal region of Odisha will give one the chance to witness the vast stretches of green canopy and vegetation developed by them on what was once industrial dumpsites. The transformation to a greenbelt is not a natural reclamation but the “Midas touch” of the Post Mining Mine Site Restoration group of the Department of Mining Engineering of IIT Kharagpur through a project supported by Tata Steel BSL, according to the team that worked on the project.

Also Read: Odisha CM Launches Various Initiatives Of State For Development Of Women And Children

The researchers afforested over 32,000 square feet in the region following a rapid forest regeneration technique by using a unique mix of the traditional resource of Panchagavya with the Miyawaki plantation technique of ecologist Akira Miyawaki from Japan. The dumping of blast furnace slag by steel plants has been a perennial challenge in India and even in some of the developed countries in the world, said IIT Kharagpur professor Khanindra Pathak.

These steel slag dumps contribute to the generation of airborne particles causing air pollution and also to groundwater and surface-water contamination through different pathways. The slag-covered land is unsuitable for vegetation growth and associated problems lead to the ruination of vegetation and health hazards for both humans and animals. Researchers at IIT Kharagpur have devised a bioremediation method to reduce the concentration of these polluting slags to an innocuous state. They have turned this slag suitable for plant growth by mixing it with topsoil, cow dung and other organic enhancers. Plants carefully chosen for the Miyawaki technique and 22 native species were grown on the mix with a 30-cm layer of topsoil over it after administering them with Panchagavya, he added.

Also Read: COVID-19: Odisha Government Issues Operational Strategy For Vaccination Of Elderlies And People With Co-Morbidities

According to the team, periodic administration of Panchagavya checked the problem of nutrient scarcity while mulching helped retention of water and nutrients.

In a span of one year, we witnessed the growth of a self-sustaining mini-forest, dominated by plants belonging to the Fabaceae and Sesbania grandiflora family. The plants with long root systems could utilize the steel slag with their roots penetrating up to a depth of 2 m from the ground surface, thus reducing the effects of groundwater contamination and surface runoff of water in the monsoons, said Professor Pathak.

The process turned an unsupportive steel slag dump to a self-sustaining primary succession over it.

Vetiver grass was used as a boundary for the plantation to check migration of nutrients. This grass, if grown over the slopes of the slag dumps, will further check the fugitive emissions and thereby reducing air pollution and erosion of slag onto adjacent habitations, he added.

Pathak said that the process can be replicated for municipality waste dumps as well.

The development of a vetiver grass field could be beneficial for urban wastewater management as well as municipality solid waste dump sites. We had also demonstrated hydroponic vetiver for the containment of oil in refinery wastewater through an IIT Kharagpur and IOCL collaborative project at the Bongaigaon refinery, the professor said.

Also Read: Odisha Government Issues Fresh Guidelines To Avoid Rise In COVID-19 Cases In The State

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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World

22,70,55,138Cases
18,97,86,461Active
3,25,98,424Recovered
46,70,253Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,70,55,138 and 46,70,253 have died; 18,97,86,461 are active cases and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 5:36 am.

India

3,33,81,728 34,403Cases
3,39,0563,867Active
3,25,98,424 37,950Recovered
4,44,248 320Deaths
In India, there are 3,33,81,728 confirmed cases including 4,44,248 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,39,056 and 3,25,98,424 have recovered as on September 17, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

65,11,525 3,595

52,893 310

63,20,310 3,240

1,38,322 45

Kerala

44,46,228 22,182

1,86,754 4,559

42,36,309 26,563

23,165 178

Karnataka

29,65,191 1,108

16,202 282

29,11,434 808

37,555 18

Tamil Nadu

26,40,361 1,693

16,756 120

25,88,334 1,548

35,271 25

Andhra Pradesh

20,34,786 1,367

14,708 105

20,06,034 1,248

14,044 14

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,628 23

193 11

16,86,549 11

22,886 1

West Bengal

15,59,567 707

8,025 25

15,32,922 725

18,620 7

Delhi

14,38,373 28

409 5

14,12,880 22

25,084 1

Odisha

10,18,298 580

5,335 105

10,04,845 681

8,118 4

Chhattisgarh

10,04,988 31

352 2

9,91,077 29

13,559

Rajasthan

9,54,230 4

103 1

9,45,173 5

8,954

Gujarat

8,25,677 22

149 0

8,15,446 22

10,082

Madhya Pradesh

7,92,374 7

119 5

7,81,738 12

10,517

Haryana

7,70,697 9

327 8

7,60,562 17

9,808

Bihar

7,25,864 12

72 6

7,16,134 6

9,658

Telangana

6,62,785 259

5,282 43

6,53,603 301

3,900 1

Punjab

6,01,180 30

314 11

5,84,399 38

16,467 3

Assam

5,97,074 468

5,381 15

5,85,914 479

5,779 4

Jharkhand

3,48,102 6

102 8

3,42,867 14

5,133

Uttarakhand

3,43,330 20

284 12

3,35,657 32

7,389

Jammu And Kashmir

3,27,466 170

1,421 72

3,21,630 98

4,415

Himachal Pradesh

2,16,430 127

1,568 82

2,11,215 206

3,647 3

Goa

1,75,183 95

699 1

1,71,195 96

3,289

Puducherry

1,25,170 107

963 63

1,22,380 42

1,827 2

Manipur

1,17,913 216

2,614 7

1,13,478 219

1,821 4

Tripura

83,787 31

427 26

82,553 56

807 1

Meghalaya

78,958 229

1,804 140

75,784 86

1,370 3

Mizoram

76,591 1,121

13,888 85

62,449 1,202

254 4

Chandigarh

65,168 4

31 2

64,319 2

818

Arunachal Pradesh

53,990 47

536 9

53,183 56

271

Sikkim

30,802 64

775 28

29,648 36

379

Nagaland

30,763 32

505 14

29,610 44

648 2

Ladakh

20,631 6

41 1

20,383 5

207

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670

5 0

10,661

4

Lakshadweep

10,353

4 0

10,298

51

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,595 3

15 2

7,451 1

129

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