Watch: Technology to help lakes breathe again

Bengaluru innovator develops paddle boat which can double up as a weed cutter

In a world of technological advancement, a city-based innovator developed a paddle boat, which can double up as a weed cutter to clear weeds in lakes and water bodies. The paddle boat weed cutter, which has been named Jalweedu, has been developed under the Centre’s Department of Scientific and Industrial Research’s PRISM (Promoting Innovations in Individuals, Start-ups and MSMEs) scheme.

The innovator, a former National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) chief scientist, was given a grant under the PRISM scheme a couple of years ago. He has now developed a prototype of the boat, which he said can perform the same role as a small-sized waste pickup BBMP vehicle in water bodies. “Lake maintenance is a recurring activity and not a one-time job, the activity has to be sustainable.

They can be deployed in water bodies to cut and remove weeds,” said S Selvarajan, who developed the boat.

He added that trials have already been conducted at the Mallaghatta, Turuvekere and Kunigal lakes in Tumakuru for the fisheries department and weeds were cut and cleared during this period.

The pedal boat is fitted with a 5.5 HP Honda

petrol engine and also sports a Hydraulic system-based scoop and saw-toothed weed cutters for cutting the weed. Selvarajan said there plans to install solar panels on top of the boat in future, to harness solar energy.

Under the PRISM scheme, grants are given under three categories. Under the first category, support is extended to the tune of Rs 2 lakh or 90 per cent of the total project cost. Under category two and three, up to Rs 20 lakh or 90 per cent and up to Rs 50 lakh or 50 per cent of the total project cost are given as grants respectively.

Selevrajan has received Rs 7 lakh for this project under the PRISM scheme and said he would be applying for more grants under the third category for further innovating the product and making it more user-friendly for the end-user.

He added that the Jalweedu would cost about Rs 4 lakh with its current accessories.

When he was with NAL, Selavarajan had developed Jaldost, an air-propelled ferry system for weed clearing, which has been used at Ulsoor Lake to clear weeds.

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Sagar Biswas

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