HYDERABAD: Do you know how many litres of water get used every time you flush the toilet, asks Namita Banka, founder and MD of the Hyderabad-based publicly-traded Banka BioLoo Limited. As I tried in vain to come up with an answer, she informs, “It is about eight to 10 litres, which roughly translates to 150 litres per day per household”. “That’s a lot of water going down the chute,” I exclaimed! She said, “Yes, and to counter this waste of water and maintain hand hygiene, we have come up with a foot-pedalbased WC which uses only 1.5 liter water with every flush.”
Priced at Rs 15,000 (without tank) and Rs 24,000 (with tank), Namita says, it will help in water conservation and save one from cross-contamination, especially during this pandemic. “Time for touchless,” she reiterates. Banka BioLoo was formed in 2012 by Namita with an idea of “doing something for the environment.” Since then they have installed more than 12,000 bio toilets, and are a market leader in water, sanitation hygiene technology and infrastructure.
“It is an on-field research-driven organisation engaged in developing a diverse array of envir o n m e n t a l l y - f r i e n d ly products and services for fecal waste treatment and management, with a vision to solve the most-pressing problem of poor sanitation and hygiene,” says Namita who was also a winner of Women Transforming India 2018. The company’s main focus has been on giving sanitation solutions to those who do not have access to toilets, as well as to those who have toilets, but face trouble treating and managing the waste.
The Packaged Sewage Treatment Plants (PSTP) is a step “to bridge the gap between waste water treatment needs of a family living in an apartment complex or in individual homes,” comments Namita. She says, for example, in an apartment complex with 250 flats, waste water of 150 KLD gets generated. The PSTP can improve sanitation by proper treatment of domestic waste water and improve waste water treatment capacity to handle extreme events.
This water can be then reused for non-drinking purposes, thus reducing the fresh water usage. She adds, “This can limit the deteriorating quality of public water and possibility of virus present in water discharged from Coronavirus infected person and prevent deterioration of sanitation conditions.” The company positively impacts the entire sanitation value chain every single day, from capture, emptying, transport, to treatment and reuse of waste. “The truckers who clean the septic tanks just dispose it off. We are making the Fecal Sludge Treatment Plants (FSTP) where it can be treated and recycled as water and solids,” says Namita.
Currently, they have been asked to set up 10 such plants in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh each. “The water is reused for non-potable works and the solid is used in agriculture,” adds she. The 1,000 people strong Banka BioLoo company is also pushing the possibilities beyond toilets. The 47-year-old entrepreneur also produced high-quality sanitisers in their lab and distributed them to sanitation workers. “TSIC has asked us to set up 30 units for sanitiser making in their residential areas and train people to make sanitisers based on WHO guidelines.” For Namita, environment and development are core to her business, as she strives to be better and better each day. She concludes, “Banka BioLoo is committed to indigenous R&D and collaborates in a dynamic ecosystem of policy makers, governments and the private sector.”