Polluted Ganga river may find its saviour in an unmanned water surface vehicle ‘Ro-Boat’ that is capable of detecting, collecting and eliminating all kind of trash including chemical effluents and floating waste from the surface of water.
The device which has been identified as possible technological intervention for the mammoth task of cleaning the river under the Union Water and Resources Ministry’s Ganga Action Plan (GAP) has been developed by a Delhi-based tech company, Omnipresent Robot Tech Pvt ltd.
The Union Science and Technology Ministry which received a proposal in this regard from the firm last year, examined the prototype of the Ro-Boat and has now recommended it for the use, terming it as a potential technology for cleaning garbage or dirt from the river or water bodies.
The proposal was examined by the Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), an autonomous body of Department of Science and Technology (DST). Now, the Small Industries Development Bank of India is studying the financial aspect for the project.
Each device costs Rs 15 lakh. Depending on the length of the river, the devices will have
to be deployed.
Presently, trial runs are going on for the cleanliness of Yamuna river yielding good results. Aakash Sinha, CEO and founder of the company, said that the machine has to be programmed to collect all kind of pollutants and sludge through its ‘robotic arms’ and then offload the waste.
Solar panels battery and twin propeller engine will help it to navigate while consuming less power. The device has a unique ability to completely submerge in the river to pull out the pollutants settled on the riverbed.
“The key advantage with such unmanned devices is that they can work day and night continuously with little human intervention. There is also an option to go for a remote human operator to see the video data transmitted by the Ro-Boat, define and change the course of the machine,” Sinha added.
The Ro-Boat is equipped with fog lights and a pan-tilt zoom camera, making it capable of 24-hour operation. “Erring on the side of practicality, if we assume 12 hours of operation per day, the gadget can clean up 600 kg of waste a day, or nearly 200 tonnes of waste a year,” Sinha said.
The company is already making several kinds of
robots for several sectors. The Ro-Boat has been awarded among top 20 innovations by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
last year, the Government had sanctioned Rs 20,000 crore for rejuvenating the Ganga under the ‘Namami Gange Project’. Under the project, an amount of Rs 1,700 crore will be released for Allahabad, Rs 1,000 crore for Kanpur and Rs 450 crore for Varanasi. The money will be utilised for purification of the river and enhancement of the capacity of sewage treatment plants (STPs), Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati had said.