HYDERABAD: After designing and commissioning several low-cost groundwater defluoridation plants in flurosis -affected villages of Andhra Pradesh, the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology is now looking forward to set up model defluoridation units in Rajasthan.
Defluoridation refers to methods of water treatment that reduce the concentration of fluoride in the water, normally, in order to make it safe for human consumption.
Fluorosis is a dreaded disease caused due to the presence of excess fluoride in ground water, which has affected lakhs of people in India, especially children who are suffering from dental and skeletal deformities, particularly in the two states of Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.
A senior scientist at the IICT’s Chemical Engineering division told PTI that following the success of the IICT- designed and installed reverse osmosis (RO) plants of 1,000 litres per hour capacity in the fluorosis-affected areas in Andhra Pradesh, there have been enquiries to install defluoridation units in Rajasthan. The IICT technology could serve as a model for replication of defluoridation plants in the country.
“If adequate manpower and funding is provided, we may, on a pilot-basis build model defluoridation units in Rajasthan that can be replicated by other organisations to set up more number of such plants,” Project Leader S Sridhar said.
Sridhar is leading the team that designed and commissioned six defluoridation units in Nalgonda–the worst hit flouride district due to its high ground water fluoride concentration which has reached a maximum level of even 20 ppm at certain locations.
In addition to Nalgonda, there are plans to install more defluoridation units, but it needs dedicated manpower to go to interior villages and also funding to set up the plants that cost an approximate Rs 5 lakh for each plant, he said.