With water shortage crippling the success of the Swachchh Bharat Mission (SBM) in several parts of the country, the Union Urban Development Ministry has found a ray of hope in the unique waterless
urinals ‘Zerodor’ developed by Delhi-based Ekam Eco Solutions, which is IIT Delhi incubated startup.
The Ministry has asked the States to consider installing the structures which has the capacity to save around 50,000 to 150,000 litres of water per year.
The device with a polymeric wall can be retrofitted into existing ceramic urinals. It is seen as a solution to conserve water in view of huge shortage of water availability across the States.
Each unit costs around Rs 5,500. If deployed in a large number, it can save millions of gallons of water. Under SBM, the Government has aimed to achieve open defecation free country by 2019.
Praveen Prakash, Joint Secretary and Director Swachh Bharat Mission in the Ministry of Urban Development has written to civic authorities to fund pilots comprising 20 units in 2-3 locations in each city costing `85,000. It can be funded under the Capacity Building Component of SBM.
“Zerodor can be easily retrofitted into the existing urinals. Each urinals can save around 50,000 to 150,000 lts of fresh water per annum, wasted in flushing… The user feedback shows very high level of satisfaction,” he said.
Uttam Banerjee, co-founder and CEO of Ekam Eco Solutions, said that so far they have installed around 10,000 devices across the country with most of them being catered to the corporate sectors such as Maruti and a good number of schools and universities.
The devices are also being used in the offices of the Centre for Railway Information Service (CRIS), Delhi, Indian Army, Air Force, Navy and the campus of the paramilitary Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) on a paid-trial basis.
However, he felt that despite availability of best cost effective technologies, sanitation is yet to become a way of life. “Mindset has to be changed. Taboo towards sanitation still exists, it’s a least priority sector. Though urinals and toilets should be seen as an important hygiene issue, they are not being undertaken by people themselves for their own good, be it in corporate or public sector. Such attitudes somehow restrict adoption of new technologies,” he lamented.