Union Environment and Science Minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday unveiled a solar water purifier and a solar jacket developed by Department of Science and Technology (DST) indigenously.
Offficials said that so far five prototypes of solar water purifiers of 500 litre capacity and 20 prototypes of the solar jacket customised for the Forest Department staff and others have been developed.
“One prototype has been installed here, while the other four prototypes of the solar water purifiers are installed at four different schools in Tripura and Assam, where electricity couldn’t reach due to difficult terrain,” innovator Prof S.P Gon Chaudhury, from DSE, told IANS.
The 4-watt powered water-proof solar jacket, that comes in camouflage pattern, has solar panels at its rear side and a battery attached inside, to help charge mobile phone and GPS. Beside a LED powered torch on the front and a illuminated ID tag were attached to help the movement of the forest officials during foot or night patrolling.
The solar-jacket, Chaudhury said, had been under trial for past six months and were distributed among the forest staff in Tripura and officers of Kolkata Police.
“The price of this jacket is about Rs 4,000 while the water purifier costs about Rs 35,000… the cost would come down with increase in demand,” Harsh Vardhan said, adding that approximately 4.7 million hours are lost each year due to illnesses caused by consuming contaminated water.
The DSE’s solar water purifier, the minister said, is ideally suited for village schools, primary health centres and tourist lodges where conventional electricity is very erratic or not available.