The bus, which started from the coastal town of Bhavnagar, has the capacity to purify 3,000 litres of water per hour.
A bus having on-board water purification system and the capacity to purify 3,000 litres of water per hour, reached flood-affected Kerala on Friday. It will be used to provide safe drinking water to the people of the state.
The 40-feet long bus, which started from the coastal town of Bhavnagar in Gujarat, needs four people to handle its water purifying and desalination plant. It has been indigenously developed by scientists at the Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute (CSMCRI), Bhavnagar, a place which is famous for housing the “Sheth Brothers” which manufactures ayurvedic medicines, including the popular Kayam Churna.
The CSMCRI is a laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and was inaugurated by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1954. Speaking to The Sunday Guardian, senior scientist at CSMCRI, Dr Sanjay Patil said that the mobile desalination and purification plant, developed in 2008 by scientists at CSMCRI, was first used in 2009 in Uttarakhand.
“The bus will be very useful for those who have been hit by the floods. It has been successfully operationalised in various places like North 24 Parganas during the Aila cyclone in West Bengal, and also in Karnataka, Odisha and Uttarakhand. It needs four people to operate it, apart from one driver to drive it around. It also has a built-in generator to meet power demands and the energy required to desalinate the water. As of now, the bus will be stationed at the National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, and from there we will move it around the state as per requirements and demand,” Patil told The Sunday Guardian. Patil and his colleagues, have reached Thiruvananthapuram and they will be travelling with the bus to make sure that everything works out smoothly. Every day, the bus will purify close to 40,000 litres of drinking water that matches the drinking water standards stipulated by WHO.
“The bus can purify any contaminated water, sea water through the onboard RO and ultra-filtration plant that it carries. We have installed solar panels on top of it so that the bus can use solar power to meet its basic needs,” Patil added. Residents of Kerala, especially those living in rural and coastal areas, are facing a massive drinking water crisis due to the contamination of wells and damage to pumping stations in the flood-hit areas.
A large section of coastal and low lying regions of the state was entirely submerged during the floods due to which flood water entered the wells, rendering them unsafe for drinking. Power plants and electricity poles have been damaged extensively, due to which the filtering plants are facing problems.