Updated: October 21, 2021 10:41:54 am
Anjan Mukherjee, a marine engineer and IIM Bangalore alumnus, has come up with an innovation that aims to provide a cost-effective but long-lasting solution to the problem of accessing potable water in remote areas.
Called Taraltec, it is a device that uses the principle of cavitation to destroy microbes in water and make it potable or safe for drinking. “Cavitation in simple terms is the formation and implosion of bubbles due to the increase and then decrease of liquid pressure. In physics, this is a destructive force and throughout history, applications have been done to avoid or minimise losses due to this pressure,” he said.
Mukherjee, an IIT drop out who went on to become a marine engineer and later joined IIM Bangalore, said the idea of Taraltec came to him while solving a problem in marine engineering.
In remote areas where water-borne diseases are a major concern, means to counter the same are often difficult to access and costly. The problem acquires a new dimension in remote areas like Dharni, in Amravati district, where people depend mostly on groundwater extracted from handpumps for their drinking water needs.
Mukherjee said the device was specially designed to be retro-fitted into Mark 2 handpumps, which are the most commonly used devices to extract groundwater for drinking and other purposes. “It is easy to fit and does not require any maintenance and in many cases would probably outlive the handpumps themselves. But the work it does would certainly have far-reaching effects,” he said.
The device costs Rs 8,000 per piece and doesn’t require any maintenance, said Mukherjee. “This device, with proper modification, can be used in all other fluids but I wanted to try it out with water…,” he said.
Before the Amravati Zilla Parishad decided to opt for Taraltec, the device, which was created in 2017, has been fitted and tested in thousands of handpumps in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Rajasthan. Given the ease of use and the problem it aims to solve, this innovation has been awarded with multiple awards both at the state and the national level.
Mukherjee said Taraltec:Maji was awarded the winner in the National Start Up Award (Water and Water Network) by Government of India last year and also emerged as the winner in the Sustainability sector in the Maharashtra Start Up week. Earlier in 2019 and 2017, Mukherjee’s start-up won the best innovation award from the Ministry of Rural Development and Panchyati Raj, and India Innovation Growth Program 2.0 constituted by the Department of Science and Technology Government of India.
Since they won the Maharashtra Start up Week award, this innovation was selected to be tried out by the Amravati Zilla Parishad as a pilot project. Avishyant Panda, the CEO of Amravati Zilla Parishad, said they will try out the device in Dharni. “It is very easy to fit and the work of retrofitting of over 200 hand pumps in the area is on,” he said.
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