Monthly Archives: March 2016

THE CTARA UPDATE: APRIL TO MARCH 2016

IITBs Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas(CTARA) presents its progress report for the past 3 months: critical development work in areas of water security and education for rural Maharashtra. Our Project Associate Rajaram Desai, who heads these projects sends us an update:

  1. DRINKING WATER SECURITY PLAN FOR MOKHADA TALUKA:

    Supplementing the current Karegaon scheme, CTARA’s proposed scheme will supply drinking water, from the upper Vaitarna Reservoir, to the 45,000 strong population of this region. This plan— which will free these 30 villages from their dependency on tanker water— has been thoroughly analysed for techno -economic feasibility; with O&M costs almost 4 times less than the Karegaon scheme..

    mokhada unit

    A majority of village Panchayats have already passed Gram Sabha resolutions to implement this proposal. And the scheme has now made its way into the official district planning and development council of Palghar district.

  2. SUSTAINABLE WATER SOLUTION PEER REVIEW & DEVELOPMENT

    The sustainable solutions we press for, advocate using water grid and balanced surface – ground water combinations. With this in mind, we have been engaged to do a  peer review  for a similarly conceptualized drinking water scheme undertaken by Thane district administration. This scheme aims to provide drinking water security to the 135000 people spread over Shahapur Taluka’s 97 villages.

  3. JAL TANTRA: DEVELOPMENT OF A NEW HYDRAULIC MODELLING SOFTWARE

    Understanding shortcomings of BRANCH—an old DOS based software, routinely used by engineers in Water Supply department—led us to develop the java based Jal Tantra.

    We used an iterative design approach: closely interacting with Rural Water Supply division and Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (MJP) engineers; tracking usage issues and feedback. This led to appropriate feature and functionality enhancement, while also popularising Jal Tantra’s usage. This appreciation became evident when a tool demonstration workshop organised by MJP for 70 engineers  got outstanding feedback. The new web based version— has now gained wide popularity, recognition and recommendations.

    Jal tantra

  4. DROUGHT MITIGATION PLANNING AND MONITORING SYSTEM:

    The Drinking water situation in the state is worsening alarmingly.
    Drought mitigation scheme1

    Addressing this pertinent problem; CTARA has collaborated with MERI (Maharashtra Engineering Research Institute—a part of Water Resource Department of GoM) to create The Drought Mitigation Planning and Monitoring System.

    This integrated, sustainable system incorporates scientific principles of village water-balance calculation; supply-demand matching and GIS mapping; to make reliable decisions while meeting the competing demands of irrigation, industry and drinking water.Drought mitigation scheme3

    The scheme has been successfully presented at:

    •  IIT alumini association’s Global Business Forum, Goa, Oct 2015?”?
    • GoM(Govtt of maharashtra’s) eGovernace
    • eLets Technomedia in Nov 2015
  5. UNNAT MAHARASHTRA ABHIYAN

Our collaborations with Department of Technical Education (DTE) and Chief Minister’s office (CMO) for policy level reforms in higher education; focused on curriculum alignment and engineering research with the development sector. Our efforts were rewarded when GoM passed a resolution for ‘Unnat Maharashtra Abhiyan’ in Jan 2016. This initiative for higher & technical education aims to improve development program outcomes and nurture an innovative research culture— positively contributing to programs like ‘Make in India’.

tequip

This will convert these institutes into regional knowledge centres; addressing development issues in their surroundings. “Notes of association” have been signed between CTARA and few other colleges to provide their students ‘on job training’ opportunities.

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Survey on Existing Design of Palki at Elephanta Caves, Mumbai

Conducted by IDC, Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay on 23rd January, 2016

After the successful implementation of Palki at Ajanta and Vaishno Devi, we decided to  think about all such kind of places so we went to some places like Elephanta to have feel of problems the Palki porters.the traditional design of Palki has many issues regarding the ergonomics and aesthetic look. Porters do feel that the better, light weight and maintenance free Palki would help them. So we did case study on existing Palki at Elephanta.

Pictures of the existing palki:

1

Pictures of the palki at sloping condition:

2

Pictures of details/joinery:

3.1

3.2

Health condition of the porters:

4

Design Innovation Center Progress Report—April to March 2016

  • CTARA’s gravity based sustainable drinking water solution: Adressing the drinking water security for the 45,000 villagers in Mokhada taluka, Palghar district(based on Upper Vaitarna reservoir), this proposal got overwhelming response when presented at a water conference. Taking it forward, we collaborated with village panchayats leading to Gram Panchayat resolutions being passed. We then engaged with district administations, divisional administrations, people’s representative, Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran (MJP) officials and ministry of Water Supply and Sanitation—until this idea has now seen its way into the official district planning and development council of Palghar district.
    1
  • Sustainable Water Solution Peer Review & Development: Our persistent efforts for creating a  sustainable solution by using the water grid to combine surface water and ground water has been received well by Government administration. We have been engaged to do a peer review of a drinking water scheme based on similar concept, undertaken by Thane district administration—providing drinking water security to the 135000 people spread over Shahapur taluka’s 97 villages.
  • Jal Tantra: Understanding shortcomings of BRANCH—an old DOS based software, routinely used by engineers in Water Supply department—led us to develop the java based Jal Tantra. We used an iterative design approach: we closely interacted with engineers from Rural Water Supply division and Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikarn (MJP) and closely tracked usage issueas and feedback. This led to useful  features and functionality enhancement, also popularising usage amongst them. A tool demonstration workshop organised by MJP for 70 engineers was widely appreciated by them. The new web based version— has now gained wide popularity, recognition and recommendations.
    Jaltarang
  • A pilot decision support system for Drought Mitigation Planning and Monitoring System in collaboration with MERI (Maharashtra Engineering Research Institute—a part of Water Resource Department of GoM)—has been undertaken to help taluka administration in planning to mitigate the severe drought condition in Maharashtra. The main aim of the pilot system  will be  to help decision making during relief operations of providing drinking water security and cattle fodder to the scarcity affected villages. We will do this by incorporating scientific principles of village water-balance calculation; supply-demand matching and GIS mapping; to make reliable decisions while meeting conflicting objectives.CTARA
    This scheme has been  presented at various forums including Global Business Forum (organized by IIT Alumni Association in Oct 2015) and eGovernace conference (organized by GoM and eLets Technomedia in Nov 2015).
  • We have actively engaged with Palghar and Thane district administration for third party technical inspection of drinking water projects; as well as for GoM water conservation projects. Signing the agreement with Palghar district agreement for third party inspection of Jalyukta Shivar(flagship program of GoM for watershed development and water conservation covering  50 villages in Palghar district) has been a significant achievement.
  • ‘Unnat Maharashtra Abhiyan’ : We have collaborated with Department of Technical Education (DTE) and Chief Minister’s office (CMO) for policy level reforms in higher education; focussing on curriculum alignmnent and engineering research with the development sector. GoM has finally come out with a program called ‘Unnat Maharashtra Abhiyan’ by passing a GR (Government Resolution) in Jan 2016 after our persistent efforts and follow up with GoM. This unique initiative is a  first of its kind in India. It is a significant milestone in higher and technical education history— since it will improve many development program outcomes, reaching them to beneficiaries. It will also create and nurture innovative research culture— positively contributing to programs like ‘Make in India’.
  • We are now working with engineering colleges covered under TEQIP(a Word Bank Initiative)—helping them develop ‘Technology and Development’ cells on the line of Technology Development Solution Cell(TDSC) in CTARA. This will convert these institutes into regional knowledge centers; addressing development issues in their surroundings. “Notes of association” have been signed between CTARA and few other colleges to provide their students ‘on job training’ opportunities.