Mains Daily Question
Feb. 19, 2024

Q1. What do you understand by  the term ‘bioremediation’? Analyze its importance in solving the increasingly complex problem of waste management in India. (10M, 150W)

Model Answer

Approach to the question:

Understanding the question: The question mainly has two parts. One is to define bio-remediation and the other is to state its significance in solving the problem related to waste management in India

Introduction: One can start the introduction by defining bioremediation and can give certain examples related to it.

Body: Here we have to mention the problem of waste management in India and then analyse from various dimensions the impact of bioremediation - so we have to give the advantages as well as the limitations of the method.

Conclusion: One can mention that bioremediation techniques need to be provided with more research and development. We can also state that such technologies will help in attaining sustainable development goals.


Answer: Bioremediation is defined as the process whereby organic wastes are biologically degraded under controlled conditions to an innocuous state, or to levels below concentration limits established by regulatory authorities.


Importance of bioremediation in solving the increasingly complex problem of waste management in India:

  • Reduced Disruption: Bioremediation can often be carried out on site, without causing major disruption of normal activities.
    • Example: Pune's local bioremediation; city life remained undisturbed.
  • Less Cost: Bioremediation can prove less expensive than other technologies used for hazardous waste cleanup. 
    • Example: Kolkata's cost-effective bioremediation versus traditional waste removal.
  • Solving Landfills problems: Bioremediation tackles garbage at landfills, freeing up land and reducing soil and groundwater contamination risks. 
    • Example: Bengaluru's landfill shrinkage via bioremediation strategies.
  • Inorganic pollutants: Bioremediation addresses pollutants like Arsenic, Mercury, and Chromium.
    • Example: Ganga river's arsenic content decreased using bioremediative techniques.
  • Mining: Bioremediation cleans mining waste, including abandoned mines and fossil fuel drill residues.
    • Example: Jharkhand mines detoxified, restoring local ecosystems.
  • Fly ash sites: Bioremediation aids in revegetating fly ash sites, stabilizing ash against erosion and reducing leaching.
    • Example: Andhra Pradesh's transformed ash landscapes, boosting greenery.


  • Specificity: Bioremediation targets specific pollutants; not effective for mixed or diverse waste contaminants.
  • Time-Consuming: Biodegradation processes can be slower than physical or chemical remediation methods.
  • Unpredictability: Environmental factors influence success; results can vary across different contamination sites.
  • Incomplete Degradation: Some compounds only partially degrade, potentially producing harmful byproducts.
  • Site Limitations: Not all contaminated sites are suitable for biological treatments, limiting applicability.

Bioremediation is natural, cost effective, faster than natural attenuation process that generates fewer secondary wastes with fewer air and water emissions. It has the potential to emerge as an integrated toolbox for environmental cleanup and ecosystem service provider in India.

Subjects : Environment
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