The Telegraph
Saturday , April 5 , 2014
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French study for garbage disposal, Dutch for pure drinking water

A French girl will suggest ways to scientifically dispose garbage in the city after a five-month project that started recently.

Pauline Cazes (22), a postgraduate student from University of Clermont-Ferrand in France, has arrived in Patna just three days ago. Besides the French connection, the city has also got a Dutch support to purify groundwater in the state from fluoride. Danyel Met (25), a graduate in chemical engineering from Delft University of Technology, also known as TU Delft in Delft, The Netherlands, is working on a one-year research project on “removal of fluoride from drinking water”.

Both Pauline and Danyel are doing their projects with the support of department of environment and water management, AN College.

AN College faculty members are elated at the presence of foreign students on the campus. “The two students would make several vital assessments on the present scenario of solid waste management and fluoride mitigation technique, which can be helpful to large number of people,” said Ashok Ghosh, professor-in-charge, department of environment and water management.

It has only been three days in Patna and looking at the enormous garbage problem, Pauline has realised that she has got a lot of work to do here. “There is too much garbage in Patna. I stayed in Puducherry for two months (June and July) last year (2013) and I can say that the garbage there is nothing when compared to that in Patna. This was perhaps one of the reasons for me to choose Patna for this project,” said Pauline, who is pursuing MSc in land management at present.

Deliberating on the scope of her current project in the city, Pauline said: “I would talk to people in different areas and ask them about the garbage-related problems. I would also move around the city to assess the manner in which garbage is being dumped. Besides, I would talk to authorities, including Patna Municipal Corporation and Bihar State Pollution Control Board, to seek the reasons behind mismanagement of garbage. Upon completion of my project, I would suggest ways to the authorities and also spread awareness among residents on the ways to scientifically dispose garbage.”

Danyel, on the other hand, arrived in Patna on February 1 and would stay till February 2 next year to complete his project. “The groundwater in more than 10 districts in Bihar is affected with fluoride. I am working on a Unilever-sponsored project, wherein I along with another Indian research partner would develop a filtering unit based on locally available material. For this, we would move across various fluoride-affected districts, including Nalanda, Aurangabad and Gaya, over the next few months. We would assess the conditions on the ground and device the most feasible technology to bring down the fluoride content in the water to the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s permissible level of 1.5mg/litre,” said Danyel.

Asked the reason behind choosing Patna for his research, Danyel said: “I could have done my research project from any other city with much comfortable conditions but I came to this city (Patna) as I wanted to work in a developing place. Besides, this project is sponsored by Unilever, so I have more resources at my disposal.”

Though not used to the hot and humid climate of Patna, these two young foreign nationals have claimed to be having a comfortable stay in the city. “Everyone is friendly here in Patna and I am having a nice time working here. I have had a lot of Indian food here as people ask me to have food wherever I go,” said Danyel.