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Cooperation for Combatting Industrial Water Pollution

Environmental Regulatory Agency and Industrial Authority Come Together in Bihar

With a strong interest from the environmental and industrial agencies in Bihar for strengthening of governance structures for prevention and control of industrial pollution and for promoting cost-effective solutions for sustainable industrial production, the implementation of the Indo German Development Cooperation project on “Sustainable and Environment-friendly Industrial Production-II (SEIP-II)” was initiated in the State. The two key organisations concerned with industrial water pollution, viz. the Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority (BIADA) and the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) came together and become part of the SEIP-II project in Bihar, while the two related departments of the Government of Bihar, viz. the Environment & Forest Department and the Industries Department play guiding and overseeing role.

Pic: Meeting with Principal Secretary, Department of Environment & Forest, Government of Bihar alongwith officials from BIADA, BSPCB, GIZ team and GIZ consultant, December 20, 2020, New Delhi

Selection of States for SEIP II Project

The key objective of the SEIP II project is, “The strategic and operational governance structures of the Indian Government to effectively combat water pollution from industrial wastewater are strengthened.”  Besides the national level, the SEIP-II project is mandated to be implemented in three selected States. Ref. to

The SEIP II project was launched as a phase 2 of the SEIP Project that was implemented in its first phase during 2012 to 2015. Big initiatives require big measures, and no matter how big the project efforts are, not all can be achieved single-handedly. Hence, the German Development Cooperation projects are like joint ventures between GIZ and the partner organisations and involves active cooperation for planning, implementation and steering the progress and results. The active cooperation covers various forms of exchange of information, coordination, joint efforts, strategic partnership and co-productions. It was therefore imperative that the SEIP II project finds a right State partners for the project.

The SEIP II project set took into consideration various parameters for selection of the States. These include:

  • The participating organisation must have similar interests as the SEIP II project objectives.
  • Development cooperation projects are considered complex because they are planned and implemented in a volatile environment by several actors on the basis of overarching objectives. Availability of committed teams from the partner organisations is crucial. At the same time prior working experience of GIZ with partner or the partner State too is crucial as this helps is easing the execution of the Development Cooperation project.
  • Interest and commitments from partner organisations are crucial for the project to achieve the targeted results and provide benefits for the partner organisation.
  • The partner organisation must be open to active communication and information exchange so that the project can progress successfully.
  • The SEIP II project is a part of the Sustainable Urban and Development (SUID) programme/cluster of GIZ and the project contributes to the programme level objectives and results. One of the focus areas of SUID is Ganga River rejuvenation and so priority is given to the Ganga States.
  • MoEFCC being the partner to the SEIP II project, their decision is final alongside of the decision of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation & Development (BMZ) that has commissioned the project.

Uttarakhand had been a State that was involved in SEIP Phase-I project due its relevance of River Ganga rejuvenation and has been considered once again for SEIP II project. To select the two remaining partner States, various steps were followed. SEIP-I conducted a National Conference on 15th February 2019 jointly with MoEFCC. The purpose of the National Conference was the dissemination of results, successful models and experiences of SEIP-I to enable replication and plan further actions with state agencies on a pan-India basis. Several State level environmental and industrial agencies participate in this conference. After this event, the Indo-German Environment Forum of 2019 took place. The officials from Bihar were present in both these events conducted in New Delhi and they were convinced of gaining knowledge and expertise from the SEIP II project. The officials from Bihar had discussions with the GIZ team and then sent formally a request to the SEIP II project partner ministry MoEFCC for inclusion of Bihar in SEIP II project. By then, there was already a pending request from the Government of West Bengal for technical cooperation written to the Department of Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Finance of the Government of India that coordinates the Indo German Development Cooperation activities.

In response to the requests from West Bengal and Bihar, MoEFCC initiated communications with the two governments and eventually issued confirmations to GIZ notifying about the inclusion of the two States in SEIP II project. On a similar note, MoEFCC also confirmed inclusion of Uttarakhand in SIEP II project after communicating with the Government of Uttarakhand.

Cooperation Partners in Bihar

In Bihar, the key partner agencies to SEIP II project are the Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority (BIADA) and the Bihar State Pollution Control Board that are involved in implementation of the project. The State Industries Department and the Environment & Forest Department are involved in the project and as suggested by MoEFCC, the Principal Secretary, Environment & Forest Department will be overseeing and guiding the activities in Bihar through periodic meetings.

The secondary stakeholders to the project in Bihar are the State Project Management Group (SPMG) looking into the River Ganga rejuvenation activities, the Directorate of Industries, the District Industries Centre, the industrial associations etc.

Most importantly and notably, under the SEIP II project, the industrial infrastructure development organisation of BIADA alongwith the Department of Industry of the Government of Bihar, and the environmental regulatory agency of BSPCB alongwith the Department of Environment & Forest of the Government of Bihar have come together to address the issue of industrial wastewater management. When the partners such as these public agencies of Bihar perceive the project as a valuable resource, the synergies created get mutually beneficial. Partnerships founded on the grounds of equality, trust, inclusion and mutual accountability boost development efforts considerably. The cross-sectoral dialogues have the potential to build an understanding of the overlapping interests of organisations from different sectors, to align those interests and to identify the potential for innovative win-win partnerships.

Cooperation Activities in Bihar

At the beginning of the cooperation, the GIZ team visited BIADA office in Patna, Bihar to discuss in detail about the project and its activities to be taken up in Bihar. Several rounds of discussions ensued with the Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority (BIADA) officials. Meeting held with the Managing Director of BIADA paved the way for the co-operation activities. During the discussions, several needs were identified such as industrial area planning and management, bid process management for setting up of CETPs, organizational strengthening of BIADA including its regional offices, setting up of innovative IT/web tools to support for better performance etc.

In the meantime, GIZ engaged consultants to undertake Gap Analysis/Need Assessment covering various output areas of SEIP II Project, viz.

  • Output 1 – Strengthening of Legal Framework,
  • Output 2 – Strengthening of Organisational Framework,
  • Output 3 – Strengthening of Incentive,
  • Output 4 – Strengthening of Knowledge Products, and
  • Output 5 – Strengthening of Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Consumption and Production.

These assessments as well as a look into international case examples and practices allowed the GIZ Project Team to conceive an initial list of most appropriate activities and consult with the partners.

While creating an understanding of the project, its activities, impacts and associated benefits, the State agencies in Bihar showed highly positive response in return. Accordingly, a list of activities was prepared to strengthen BSPCB and BIADA in improved industrial wastewater management in Bihar.

During the “SEIP-II Project Kick-Off Workshop” held on 20th December 2019 having MoEFCC, GIZ and the partner organisations from the three selected States, viz. Uttarakhand, Bihar and West Bengal ,the officials from Bihar participated in good strength including the Principal Secretary of the Department of Environment & Forest, Member Secretary of the Bihar State Pollution Control Board (BSPCB) and officials from BIADA and BSPCB. The presentations from the officials of Bihar had details of their Techncial Cooperation requirements under the SEIP II project.

The fist list of activities identified for Bihar under the SEIP II project are:

  • Environmental Infrastructure in Industrial Areas (sewerage, storm water drainage, CETP bid process management) - Guidelines on engineering/design/ planning, Tender Documents, Training (BIADA)
  • Updating of Portals (Website & e-portal for BSPCB) – inter departmental joint action and complaints redressal system
  • Environmental Cell at BIADA
  • Digital Information System at BIADA and BSPCB
  • Guidelines for River Action Plan for the State of Bihar
  • Enviro-legal Cell at BSPCB

The following national level activities that are ongoing to benefit Bihar:

The following national level activities that are ongoing to benefit Bihar:

A. Web-Based Systems

   A1. Environmental Self-Assessment Portal (initiated in 2019)

   A2. Industrial Wastewater Technology Platform (initiated in 2019)

   A3. National Environment Law Portal (initiated in 2019)

B. Guidelines & Protocols

    B1. Monitoring & Inspection Protocol

    B2. Guidelines for Standard Industry Classification System

    B3. Guidelines for Assessment of Environmental Damage, Compensation & Penal Levies

    B4. Guidelines for Recycle, Reuse and ZLD of Treated Wastewater (initiated in 2019)

C. Institutional Strengthening

   C1. Induction Training System for Fresh Recruits of CPCB/SPCBs

   C2. Training Plan for Existing Staff of CPCB/SPCBs

   C3. Legal Framework for Effluent Charges

   C4. Partnerships/Collaborations, Outsourcing/Contractual Arrangements

   C5. Compendium of CETP Guidelines (incl. Business Models)

   C6. Feasibility Study for Resource Recovery and Incentives under RE Policy

   C7. Methodology for Estimation of Assimilative Capacity of Water Bodies

   C8. Guidelines for Resource Recovery and Energy Recovery

   C9. Compilation of International Case Studies for River Rejuvenation

As the co-operation activities with BIADA, BSPCB and the Departments of Environment (DoE) and Industries of the Government of Bihar, progress, more activities will be added as per needs within the framework of the SEIP II project.

For further information on the SEIP-II project and its activities, refer to