13 April 2020
Kolhapur (Maharashtra): A professor of physics from the Shivaji University Kolhapur (SUK) has developed a portable ultraviolet torch which can safely disinfect all foodstuffs and articles of daily use, Maharashtra Higher & Technical Education Minister Uday Samant said here on Monday.
Being introduced in two compact models of 16 watt/1 kg costing Rs 4,500, and 33 watt/1.2 kg costing Rs 5,500, the UV Torch will be available in the markets by next week, he added.
Prof. Rajendra Sonkawade said that UV torch has been tested effectively and now the production will be started by Mumbai;s Pla Electro Appliances Pvt. Ltd.
"The UV torch simply needs to be moved above the target ï¿½ food packets, vegetables, milk pouches, currency notes, etc for a couple of minutes. The power of the UV rays will kill all bacteria or viruses, including Coronavirus, that may be lurking on it, and make them safe for use," Sonkawade told IANS.
It has been inspired by a recent research paper published by Cornell University, New York, which has given details of how to eliminate such harmful bacteria-viruses as the world grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic, he added.
The UV rays used in the torch are within the normal parameters prescribed by the International Commission for Non-Ionising Radiation, Prof. Sonkawade added.
The torch was developed with the technical inputs of his son Aniket, a student of Deendayal Upadhyay Kaushalya Kendra in Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar University, Aurangabad and biological inputs of his daughter Poonam, a microbiology student at the Abasaheb Garware College, Pune.
Prof. Sonkawade assured that the UV Torch is "absolutely harmless to all the foodstuffs or any other material and humans: and perhaps more practical than washing everything for 20 minutes with soap and water, as prescribed in some quarters.
"As is now being done in some countries, a higher version model can be developed to disinfect all forms of public transport, even ambulances carrying Covid-19 victims, hospitals, workplaces, malls, supermarkets, etc. to make them absolutely free of all bacteria or viruses for the people," he said.
On the costing, he said efforts are on to reduce the costs further by 15-20 percent, but when there is bulk demand, it will come within a reasonable price-range.