Hyderabad, September 14th, 2017: Hyderabad firm Pangaea TradeTeam Private Limited bags the first prize in Swachhathon 1.0, the first ever Swachh Bharat Hackathon organized by the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Govt of India for their patented Swedish Technology, “Aquatron®.”
Disclosing this while addressing a press conference here in the city today Pradeep Mocherla and his wife Raita Mocherla from Finland, both the directors of the company said Aquatron® bagged the first prize in the category "“Early decomposition of fecal matter” among 229 contenders for this category alone from across the world.
The winners of the Swachhathon were presented awards by the Ministers of State, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, SS Ahluwalia and Ramesh Jigajinagion 8th September in Delhi.
We are honoured to have been chosen for the first prize competing with so many contenders across the globe, and we are committed to the cause of Swachh Bharat and Green Earth informed Pradeep and Raita.
Pangaea TradeTeam Pvt. Ltd is the exclusive India representative for Aquatron®, a patented Swedish Technology, they informed.
Swachhathon 1.0, the first ever Swachh Bharat Hackathon, was organized by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to crowd source solutions to some of the Sanitation and Hygiene challenges faced in various parts of the country. The Ministry invited innovators from schools and colleges, institutions, start-ups and others to come up with exciting, innovative, novel and viable solutions to the following six challenging categories which include: 01. Monitoring usage of toilets, 02. Triggering behaviour change, 03. Toilet Technologies in Difficult terrains, 04. Working solutions for maintenance and operations of school toilets., 05. Technological solutions for safe disposal of menstrual waste and 06. Solution for early decomposition of faecal matter
The hackathon was open for all (including international entries) and was hosted on the innovate.mygov.in portal.
The Hackathon received a massive response from across the world, with 3053 entries received overall with 633 entries in triggering behaviour change, 229 in early decomposition of faecal matter, 750 in monitoring usage of toilets, 552 in maintenance and operations of school toilets, 405 in Technological solutions for safe disposal of menstrual waste and 484 in Toilet Technologies in Difficult terrains categories.
The selected finalists gave a short presentation showcasing their prototype/ strategy before a jury consisting of stalwarts and experts from the Sanitation sector. The Grand Jury for the final comprised of SmtNaina Lal Kidwai, Shri Bindeshwar Pathak, and the Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri ParameswaranIyer. The evaluation was based on an evaluation framework designed by the Ministry that took into account the originality of the solution, utility, cost-effectiveness, ease of maintenance, sustainability, scalability, and environment-friendliness.
Aquatron® is a Swedish technology that separates solid waste from the WC water by using the momentum of the flushing water, centrifugal force and gravity.
The water along with solid waste is flushed into a separator(which has no mechanical parts) where water along with the nutrients from urine are separated from the faeces, paper and any other solid waste.
It is a simple and easy to use device that requires no electricity or chemicals. The solids fall into their decomposing chamber and compost into a small quantity of clean, odourless soil within a month or so. It should be noted that the volume of the solids reduces by up to 95% in this process. The separated liquids go out from a different pipe, and they can be reused directly used for irrigation or infiltrated back into the groundwater table. Further treatment can also be done to make the water potable. The liquids have a BOD of about 20, and coliform count of 0, which means that it is safe to release them into natural water bodies like Lakes and Rivers without causing large scale contamination. informed Raita Mocherla.
Adding further Pradeep Mocherla informed that in other words, Aquatron® enables effective sewage treatment at source and has the potential to help with India's water shortage as the flushing water primarily does not contaminate the rest of the grey water and other potable water sources and it can be reused, it can become a solution for avoiding blocked drain lines, overflowing sewage as there is no need to transport solid waste for many KM’s in drain lines altogether, it enables full recycling of nutrients in the nature as the urine-enriched flushing water can be used for gardening and if the liquids are used in this way, plants also have the capability to clean any medicinal residues in urine and reduce the pollutants in the water. The biggest social impact apart from saving water is that it completely eliminates the formation of sludge (night soil) and hence there is complete elimination of sewage handling by manual scavengers which is legally outlawed in India. For the government Aquatron® can become a citizen’s movement and save tremendous costs and taxes by avoiding the relaying of new drain line to handle increased solid waste in our developing cities.
Raita Mocherla from Finland moved to Hyderabad in 2008 after her marriage with Pradeep in 2004. Giving details of how they sourced Swedish Technology, Raita says "when we were planning our farmhouse, we noticed that all the conventional sewage treatment solutions seemed rather unsatisfactory. We did not want a regular septic tank as it didn’t seem like the right thing to empty the sludge from our tank just to get it dumped somewhere else and make it someone else’ problem to solve. That’s how we set out on our quest to find a better sewage treatment solution. I did dozens of thorough Google searches over many weeks and went through as many sewage treatment solutions that are available around the world. At first, we were not able to find anything that would satisfy our ecological requirements and enable us to have a modern and pleasant toilet facility at the same time, but we still believed that there must be a better solution somewhere in the world. So we didn’t give up and kept on searching. One day after many weeks of searching, maybe on Google search results page 14, I came across Aquatron® and knew that we had found the right solution."
"We then ordered our Aquatron® sewage separator and the associated bio-chamber and received it in August 2012, in time for us to move into our new house in October 2012 informs Raita. We have been using the system ever since, and as we saw how well it was working, we also identified that it would be a great solution for alleviating many sewage-related problems that India is facing. So we spoke to the Swedish owners and secured the rights to exclusively import and distribute Aquatron® in India."
We have sold 200 units in the last two years.
The cost of the product is Rs 80,000/- for twenty toilets. Effectively for each toilet the cost works out to be Rs 3200/- . The device can have a life of 50years. It is imported from Sweden. 40 per cent of the cost goes towards taxes. We sell 10 to 12 units a month. If the product sale picks and volume goes up we can think of manufacturing it locally then the cost may comedown to Rs 1000/- or even below. It is a proven technology. And the product is being sold for the past 35 years across the globe.
We have installed these systems at Yashoda Nursing School in the city and Siddepet Collectorate office in Siddipet. . We also have one at our home in Hyderabad. There are couple of installations in Pune, Kerala, Pondicherry and many places, they informed. The product is sold through retailers, resellers across the country.
We have a target of selling one thousand units across the country in the next one year informed, Raita Mocherla.
My waste is my responsibility. Government should come forward to encourage such product so that more and more people start using it and greener will be the environment, she informed.
Public can seek information about this unique and novel sewerage wastes separate system for green environments on telephone numbers: 040-27165388/27165387
We presently have many champions of change promoting and applying this technology across India and the validation by the Ministry would help increase the momentum of adopting to innovative technology like Aquatron®
At the awards function, Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS), ParameswaranIyer, spoke about the progress made by the Swachh Bharat Mission. He mentioned that it was very encouraging that sanitation coverage in the country has gone up from 39% at the launch of the SBM to 67% today with 2.35 lakh villages having been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF), and that this progress had been verified by third-party independent agencies as well. He said that the ideas presented at Swachhathon would be crucial to help meet some of the special challenges being faced on the field in some parts of the country. He urged the innovators who participated in the Swachhathon to share these ideas with the Mashelkar Committee of the Ministry so that they may be implemented at scale in the country. He encouraged all participants by reminding them that the logo of Swachh Bharat Mission itself was a crowd sourced idea, which underscores the power than an individual's idea may have in taking the country forward.
The event was organized in Delhi recently by the Ministry in collaboration with AICTE and supported by KPMG, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Water Aid, Rotary India Literacy Mission, HMEL, Accenture and Dettol Banega Swachh India.
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