HYDERABAD: When a group of engineering students from Khammam city in Telangana decided to make a device called the ‘Water Cleaning Fountain’ as part of their course, they had no idea of the response it was going to receive. A simple yet effective idea to clean the lakes and ponds with environment friendly fountain earned them praises all the way from the state government.
An ambitious project called ‘Solar Fountain for Pond Aeration’ designed by the final year mechanical engineering students from the Swarna Bharathi Institute of Science and Technology (SBIT) located at Khammam helps to clean the still water in lakes and ponds by creating a movement in them with the installation of floating fountains. It is a simple set up equipped with a solar panel on the top to produce electricity and with an attached inverter to convert the direct current (DC) electricity into alternative current (AC). This solar generated power is supplied to the motor and provides the fountain a force to operate. “When installed, these fountains will not only add a special attraction to the lakes, but also clean water by aeration process,” said Lalit Kumar, one of the students who prepared the system.
Faculty members from SBIT claimed that this project serves multiple purposes. “It helps in controlling growth of algae in still water which subsequently improves the quantity of oxygen for the fish,” said Professor Ranga Rao of SBIT. Another special feature of this project is that it works completely on renewable energy.
The state Minister for Irrigation T Harish Rao appreciated the project and encouraged them to develop it for a large scale usage. Nageshwara Rao, another student from the team, said they were inspired by the State government’s ‘Mission Kakatiya’ programme, which is aimed at restoring tanks and lakes across the new State. Though the students prepared the project as part of their academic curriculum, the minister suggested the college management to upgrade it to a full-fledged system, the faculty claimed. Now this project is most likely to be part of the ‘Mission Kakatiya’ programme. It may be recalled that Telangana government had recently launched a mission to clean and restore all tanks and lakes to provide clean and safe drinking water. Rao also formally inaugurated this innovative project on April 30 at Hyderabad. While inaugurating, he directed the officials of the Irrigation Department to identify lakes in the city where this project could be used.
Professor Swaminathan, who headed the team, said this is a very cost-effective project. It would cost less than `10,000 to make. He also claimed that this project is first-of- its-kind in India. There are several projects being launched with solar energy, but using the alternative energy sources to clean the lakes is unique, he added.
Meanwhile, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is also planning to clean lakes under the limits of corporation. C N Raghu Prasad, zonal commissioner, east zone of the GHMC, said around 50 lakes in all 18 circles had been identified for restoring. Soon they would be given a new shape. “We are also planning to use this fountain project in lakes in Hyderabad,” he said.