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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, August 13: Union Minister for science and technology Jeetendra Singh on Saturday unveiled India’s first saline water lantern which uses the sea water as the electrolyte between specially designed electrodes to power the LED lamps.

The first-of-its kind lantern is named ‘Roshni’.

The minister commissioned the lantern during his visit to ‘Sagar Anveshika’, a coastal research vessel, operated and used by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai for coastal research.

“Saline Water Lantern will bring ease of living to the poor and needy, particularly the fishing community living along the 7500 kilometres long coastal line of India,” said Singh.

The Ministry claimed that the Saline Water Lantern will also boost and supplement Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s UJALA scheme launched in 2015 for distribution of LED bulbs across the country.

“Roshini Lamps along with Power Ministry’s schemes like Solar Study Lamps will be driving a vibrant renewable energy programme aimed at achieving energy security, energy access and reducing the carbon footprints of the national economy,” added Singh.

The minister also underlined that this technology can be used in hinterlands, where sea water is not available, as any saline water or normal water mixed with the common salt can be used to power the lantern. This is not only cost-effective, but very easy to operate, he added.

The minister called upon the NIOT team to transfer the technology to the industry for mass production of the multipurpose lamp.

The minister during his visit also reviewed the progress of NIOT developed ‘Low Temperature Thermal Desalination (LTTD)’ technology for conversion of sea water to potable water, which has been successfully demonstrated in Lakshadweep islands.

“Three desalination plants based on the LTTD technology have been developed and demonstrated at Kavaratti, Agati and Minicoy Islands of Union Territory of Lakshadweep. The capacity of each of these LTTD plants is 1 lakh litre of potable water per day,” added Singh.

Six more LTTD plants are to be set up at Amini, Androth, Chetlet, Kadmat, Kalpeni and Kiltan with a capacity of 1.5 lakhs litres/day.

The LTTD technology is found suitable for Lakshadweep islands where the required temperature difference of about 15⁰C between sea surface water and deep-sea water is found in the vicinity of Lakshadweep coasts only as of now.

The cost of desalination plant depends on a number of factors inter alia which includes technology used and location of plant. The total cost of the six LTTD plants in Lakshadweep islands is Rs 187.75 crore.

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