Watershed Based Development Master Plan Preparation
Technical details: As a continuation of its involvement in the resource based sustainable local level planning, IRTC has developed a methodology for preparation of watershed based developmental master plan with people’s participation. This involves intensive field level surveys, data collection, continuous interaction with local people, preparation of PRM, watershed maps civil intervention maps, etc. It also involves preparation of a developmental master plan for next 10 years considering the resources available in the area and people’s interests. The output of this exercise will be watershed maps, plot wise civil intervention plans, projects for the development of primary sector with cost estimation, etc.
Needs addressed: To evolve a scientific model for developmental planning based on watershed
Field trial results: The methodology for preparation of watershed based development master plan preparation with people’s participation was developed and finalised through a number field trials. The model developed by IRTC has been successfully tried out in about 50 Panchayaths. Experts and Institutions involved or associated: Dr. Terry Machado of CESS and the Civil Engineering and Agriculture team of IRTC.
Propagation efforts: This is now being propagated by the state planning board and other agencies. IRTC is providing training in participatory watershed based master plan preparation.
Roof Top Rain Water Harvesting
Technical details: Though Kerala has good rainfall, many parts of the state, especially districts like Palakkad experience severe drought and shortage of drinking water during summer. In order to address this issue, Ferro cement structures to store rainwater collected during monsoon for use during summer are being constructed. IRTC took a lead in this as part of a research project and is now giving technical support to local self-government bodies for installing such units for households and public institutions.
Needs addressed: To mitigate drought during summer
Field trial results: The technology is being accepted by people as a cheaper and convenient water storage system. A number of institutions and individuals are approaching IRTC seeing the success of the installed units.
Experts and Institutions involved or associated: Father Vadakkemuri of Malanadu Development society, Pirumed and the Civil team of IRTC.
Propagation efforts: IRTC is providing training in construction of Ferro cement storage tanks. This technology is being propagated with the help of local bodies.
Composite Latrine for Water Logged Areas
Technical details: To address the sanitation problems in the water logged areas, IRTC has designed and developed and tested successfully an improved closet with urine and washing diversion.
Needs addressed: To meet the sanitation problems of water logged areas
Field trial results: The developed closet was successfully field tested in Kumarakam Panchayath.
Experts and Institutions involved or associated: Suma P.A. and Gijo Sebastian of IRTC.
Propagation efforts: This technology is now being propagated by the local bodies with the help of IRTC and KSSP where water logging is a problem.
Hotbox – A device to Save Fuel During Cooking
Technical details: The Hot Box developed by IRTC is a device for saving fuel/energy during cooking of rice and dal. This cylindrical shaped device is made of polystyrene (thermocole) and can save 50% energy while cooking rice, on an average.
Needs addressed: Saving fuel in cooking
Field trial results: The field trials shows that hotbox can save up to 90 ml of kerosene or 80 g of LPG or per cooking of 1kg rice. The field trial in the selected houses were a success and the product was widely accepted by the mass, when launched as a product.
Experts and Institutions involved or associated: Dr. R.V.G. Menon and IRTC activists.
Propagation efforts: The device is being manufactured in a large scale and distributed in a commercial manner with the help of village level units of KSSP. More than a lakh units were propagated so far.
Solid Waste Management by Composting
Technical details: IRTC has developed a technology package for solid waste management. The technology adopted for the waste treatment are aerobic process by windrow composting followed by vermi composting. The end product is compost which is a bio-manure and can be distributed/sold for agricultural use. The technology developed can be used in small and medium sized townships and municipalities.
Needs addressed: Disposal of municipal solid wastes and domestic wastes.
Field trial results: A number of trials were conducted in the treatment plant. Later the technology was implemented in two towns and a few Grama Panchayaths. The technology was well received and now more local bodies and individuals are approaching IRTC for technical help in setting up waste treatment plants.
Experts and Institutions involved or associated: Dr. V.R. Raghunandanan of Kerala Agricultural University, and IRTC activists.
Propagation efforts: This methodology was very well accepted by both local bodies and a number of local bodies and individuals are approaching IRTC for technical help in setting up waste treatment plants. The Clean Kerala Mission, the Government Agency is propagating this technology and IRTC is associated with them for the implementation.
Participatory Resource Mapping (PRM)
Technical details: For a sustainable development planning in a micro level, database of various natural and man made resources of that geographic location is a must. A model for studying the physical and natural resources of a village was developed by KSSP during the 80’s. IRTC has modified, perfected and finalised this by providing the scientific inputs with the help of Centre for Earth Science Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, but retaining the participative aspect. The PRM methodology developed by IRTC involves preparation of a set of thematic maps showing land use, water availability, land form, surface material, infrastructure and environmental appraisal and a socio-economic survey. This will help to prepare comprehensive long term local area plans for sustainable development with active participation of the local people.
Needs addressed: To provide a database of various resources in the form of a map for preparing developmental plans at local level.
Field trial results: The methodology for preparation of resource maps with people’s participation was developed and optimised and finalized through a number field trials at Panchayath level. The methodology was perfected with the help/input from experts.
Experts and Institutions involved or associated: Dr. Thomas Isaac, Dr. M.P. Parameswaran, Experts from Centre for Earth Science Studies, Govt of Kerala and KSSP/IRTC activists.
Propagation efforts: This methodology was very well accepted by both local bodies, Govt. department and S&T institutions. Based on this model, Resource Maps of more than four hundred Panchayaths have been prepared as a supporting database for developmental plans. Many scientific institutes like the Land Use Board, Information Kerala Mission, The COSTFORD, etc. have used this model with minor modifications.
Group Approach to Locally Adaptable and Sustainable Agriculture (GALASA)
Technical details: This is a ‘scientific agriculture’ package for increasing the production of paddy in each ‘Padasekharam’ through developing and utilizing the available resources of land, water; manpower and other components of production as group activity.
Needs addressed: To enhance productivity in paddy cultivation.
Field trial results: Field trial was conducted in Madakkathra Panchayath of Thrissur and the productivity increased by more than 50%
Experts and Institutions involved or associated: Dr. Pathiyoor Gopinath of Kerala Agricultural University, Dr. M.P. Parameswaran and KSSP/IRTC activists.
Propagation efforts: The success of the programme was widely discussed among all the sectors in the society. A number of farmers and farmers groups took up the GALASA. The concept was very well received and a number of LSGIs and even the agriculture department is promoting it.
Technical details: This was an attempt to adapt and test the technology for producing the ASHMOH cement, which is produced from rice husk ash and lime and which can substitute the port land cement in many civil construction applications. As the raw materials are available in plenty in a distributed manner, there is a possibility of a number of small plants for producing the ASHMOH cement and it can substitute the port land cement.
Needs addressed: To address the need for cement using an agriculture waste available in plenty in a distributed manner.
Field trial results: Because of quality limitations and economic non-viability, no field trials were conducted
Experts and Institutions involved or associated: Dr. M.P. Parameswaran, Mr. T.R. Chandradutt and other KSSP/IRTC activists.
Propagation efforts: The programme was abandoned because of quality limitations and economic non-viability.
Low-cost Construction and Housing
Technical details: IRTC have adapted the concept of low cost construction and with use of cost effective methods in building construction like Ferro cement slabs, Rat-trap bonding, Filler slab roofing, Arches, Brick jally, Corbelling, Pre-casting of Hand rails, etc. Using these techniques one can save about 30-50% in the housing construction, retaining the aesthetics or with better aesthetics. The focus was in reducing the unnecessary expenditure for getting ‘more strength’ through optimum use of materials and also to change some of the ‘concepts’ of housing among the people.
Needs addressed: Housing needs of rural poor, alternate environmentally better housing
Field trial results: The field trials gave good results in terms of thermal comfort, durability, attractiveness, low cost and optimum usage of locally available materials.
Experts and Institutions involved or associated: Dr. Lary Baker, Mr. Benny Kuriakose, Prof. K. Viswanathan and other KSSP/IRTC activists
Propagation efforts: The idea was mainly popularised through the KSSP. IRTC have conducted a number of training camps, workshops, etc. for the masons and other skilled labourers in low cost construction techniques. A separate wing of IRTC called ‘Mithavyaya’ was formed for the popularisation of these techniques. Later as the concept became popular other voluntary organisations like COSTFORD and Nirmithi Kendra have also started training the masons. The concept was very well received and thousands of houses constructed on these principles can be seen throughout the state.
Parishad Chulha –A Fuel efficient wood burning Chulha
Technical details: IRTC has developed a fuel efficient wood burning Chulha for use in kitchens. Apart from the brick and mortar/mud, the improved Chulha consists of pottery moulds, which were specially designed for this, asbestos pipes and iron gratings. The cost of one Chulha will be about Rs. 800/- including material and fitting charges. The fitting or construction of the Chulha needs special training. IRTC has also developed a community Chulha for cooking in large quantity in schools, hotels and hostels.
Needs addressed: Fire wood shortage, Environmental safety, Health hazard and more employment opportunity for potters and fitters.
Field trial results: It has a fuel efficiency of 28% as certified by CPRI, Bangalore in comparison with 9% for conventional Chulha. This has reduced the firewood expenditure to 1/3 of the normal. The new model has the additional advantage that it is “smokeless” and therefore hazard free.
Experts and Institutions involved or associated: Apart from the activists of KSSP and IRTC, institutions like CPRI, Bangalore and Govt. Engg. College Trivandrum were involved.
Propagation efforts: In the initial stages this was propagated through the parent organization KSSP. Later this model was approved by MNES and now it is being propagated by the Governmental agency ANERT throughout the state. Also KSSP and other VOs are propagating this. More than five lakh units were installed so far.