Ozone to clean Kshipra for Simhastha pilgrims

Salil Mekaad | TNN | Dec 10, 2015, 02.35 PM IST

INDORE: Ozone gas will now be used to disinfect and purify water in Kshipra river for pilgrims taking a holy dip during Simhastha 2016.

Ujjain administration is planning to release bubbles of ozone from the bottom of the river through pipelines so as to clean river water during the festival. The project is expected to cost Rs 9 crore. "This is probably for the first time in the country that ozone gas will be used to clean water during a mammoth gathering of people," Ujjain divisional commissioner Ravindra Pastor told TOI.

Ozone is unstable and degrades within a few seconds, releasing a free oxygen atom which causes rapid oxidisation. This ability enables ozone to react with bacteria, viruses, and protozoans and have stronger germicidal properties then chlorination. In addition, the oxidising properties of ozone also reduce the concentration of iron, manganese, sulphur and reduces or eliminates taste and odour problems.

Pastor said five spots have been identified in Kshipra river where the pipelines will be laid. The pipelines will be connected to ozone generation plants. Ozone will be pumped into the pipelines, which will have release points attached to it. Soon after the gas is released, it will disinfect the water.

 Ozone has been used to disinfect water in the US and France for several decades. Ozone has been employed in over 3,000 large scale municipal plants world-wide.

The Ujjain municipal corporation has already floated tenders, inviting companies to bid for the project. A Delhi-based firm is believed to have bagged the contract. The company is expected to install the ozone plant by February 16.

 The quality of water in Kshipra river has been a worry for the Ujjain administration ahead of Simhastha. Various measures have been adopted to keep the water clean when large number of devotees reach for a holy dip in Kshipra river.

Sources said an estimated 4 crore people will be visiting the fair from April 22, 2016 to May 21, 2016. About 1 crore people are expected to take part in the royal bath on May 21 and some five lakh people will be present at the fair on any given day. They said that as many as 10 lakh people will be staying in Ujjain during the period.