Water is life. This is what Kashmiris learnt the hard way when Jammu and Kashmir was devastated by the recent floods. While water was everywhere, it was unsafe for consumption. This is when a Hyderabadi, Karunakara M Reddy, decided to step in with an innovative idea. Karunakara and his nine-member team are currently operating from the flood-ravaged state and are helping the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in the relief operations.
Karunakara is the CMD of city-based Smaat India Private Limited. He is playing a vital role in J&K by setting up Mobile Water Treatment Units (MTUs). The MTU is a package of power generators, pre-treatment, post- treatment storage tank and pouch packing machine, which ensures supply of safe drinking water thereby eliminating waterborne diseases.
Responding to the Centre’s appeal, Karunakara’s team joined the NDRF to airlift supplies in two phases from Begumpet Airport. In the first phase on September 12, four mobile water treatment plants, which have a capacity to provide one lakh litres of potable water, was dispatched along with 1,000 cartons of water bottles and other essentials. On September 15, another set of 20 dissembled water treatment plants were sent to the flood-hit areas.
Karunakara hails from Mahabubnagar where his family is involved in farming. Safe drinking water was a precious commodity in his village and many suffered from waterborne diseases. In 2004, a death in his family prompted Karunakara to take a plunge into the water segment where he developed the concept of Community Development Centre (CDC).
The CDC is a flagship programme which uses cutting edge technology that combines reverse osmosis, ultra filtration, nano filtration and UV purification to bring clean and affordable drinking water to villages.
Speaking to The Hans India from Kashmir, Karunakara Reddy said, “It may take at least six months to return to a state of normalcy. We are going to be here for a very long time.”
This is not the first time that Karunakara is involved in mitigating devastation. In 2009, he played a pivotal role when flood waters engulfed Alampur village in Andhra Pradesh. It was then that he conceived the idea of Mobile Water Treatment Units which became an instant hit.
Karunakara’s untiring efforts have become the talk of the town. The Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah appreciated and congratulated his team for providing clean and safe drinking water for the flood victims.
At a time when dead animal’s carcasses are floating on flood waters rendering the water totally unsafe to drink, the mobile units are playing a vital role in supplying clean drinking water.
Karunakara’s noble idea has won him several accolades. His company has numerous national and international awards for social innovation and path breaking technology in water segment and for establishing 2,000 community water centres which serves 49 lakh people.