After facing the heaviest rainfall in over a century, Chennai is now struggling because of immense shortage of drinking water. The roads are flooded with sewage water, and many buildings are submerged up to the first and second floors. Residents in several parts of the city have been stranded without food and drinking water since the past few days.
In such a situation, a Bangalore based entrepreneur, Dinesh Jain, has reached Chennai with a gift that has the potential to solve the scarcity of drinking water there.
He has put together a mobile unit, the Amritdhara plant, which can convert 20,000 litres of any kind of water into drinking water. Thus, flood water from the street can be converted into drinking water using this unit that has been mounted on a truck, and can be moved around.
Dinesh is currently in Chennai and is doing his best to fight the situation there. He informed that the unit utilises Reverse Osmosis (RO) technology to purify water. It is basically a process in which a majority of pollutants from impure water are removed by passing it under pressure through a semi permeable membrane. For this, the water is first pumped from the source into the purification unit. It then undergoes a primary treatment to separate the heavy particles. This is followed by treatment of water with Aluminium Sulphate, also known as Alum, to initiate coagulation. Turbidity of water is removed by passing it through a filter and it is pumped through a cartridge filter to eliminate all particles larger than five micrometres. This water is then passed through a high pressure piston pump into a series of vessels where it undergoes reverse osmosis. The final water is 99.1% free from impurities.
Dinesh is currently working in Koyambedu area of Chennai. He has started treating water. Distribution has not begun yet because he wants to wait for the lab results stating the purity of the water. Dinesh informed that he has not received any help or support from the government until now. He was in Chennai for the whole day on Friday, but was not given permission to begin work. Finally, some supportive people in the administration told him to proceed.
“Money does not mean everything,” says Dinesh. In Chennai, he met a young professional who narrated how he had been fighting for appraisal at his work place before all this devastation.
“He was earning lakhs every month but today, will all his money, he was not able to meet his basic needs like clean drinking water. This made me realise the value of money.”
In times of need it is only what one man can do for another that’s important. All the money in the world cannot buy you survival.