Dick Van Dijk, general manager, NEDAP indicated: "The project aims to provide pure water to the rural and remote areas of India with low investments. NEDAP manufactured a system called NAIADE in August 2003, which is a stand alone solar based mobile water purification system. We have won the European Environment Award 2004 for inventing this technique from the European Commission this year in June."
"The system uses solar energy to generate electricity necessary to purify the water. We have also introduced this system in countries like Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana and the response we received was very encouraging. By introducing this system the government can save enormous expenditure on infrastructure in addition to saving time," he explained.
Monal Choksi, executive director, Power H2O pointed out: "This system is being introduced in India for the first time. The actual production cost of the system is around Rs 2.5 lakh per unit but the subsidies from government can reduce the price to Rs 30,000 per unit making them more affordable. Once introduced the units will be produced in India as 80 per cent of the raw material is already available here."
"This will also boost employment opportunities. We were looking for an organisation who has good networking with rural areas and ATIRA was the best option available so we chose Gujarat to start our pilot study. Initially this units will be placed in Ahmedabad and Kutch districts in Gujarat as a part of the pilot study," he elaborated.
According to Mr Choksi the system will be tested and necessary feedback will be obtained for next four months after which phase-2 of the study will start where another 100 units of this system will be placed all over the country.
"Each unit can purify 2,000 litres of drinking water daily satisfying needs of around 400 families. We will abide by the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards of drinking water. The project will take at least six months more before it takes a full fledge form. This system will be maintained by Power H2O and ATIRA will be conducting independent test and evaluation on various performance parameter," Mr Chokshi stated.