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:
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..
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.
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.
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.
DROUGHT MITIGATION PLANNING AND MONITORING SYSTEM:
The Drinking water situation in the state is worsening alarmingly.
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.
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
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’.
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.