Developing a context appropriate treadle pump for irrigation of small farms in a tribal region of Palghar districtTctd@1232022-04-18T12:23:29+00:00
Developing a context appropriate treadle pump for irrigation of small farms in a tribal region of Palghar district (Ongoing)
PI: Prof. Deepak Marla, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Co-PI: Prof. Upendra Bhandarkar, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Tata Fellows: Sushant Chavan and Aniket Hulage (2018-20), Mevada Het Kiritbhai (2020-2022)
Small farmers in tribal areas in India require appropriate pumping technologies to either supplement or replace the existing alternatives of electric pumps and diesel pumps that are costly, less reliable (sporadic electricity supply), and inappropriate for inadequate water sources largely due to higher rate of drainage of the resources and the associated heavy losses in furrow irrigation methods. Treadle pumps are found to be the most efficient and easiest to operate among all the available manually operated water-lifting devices. It was reported that the intervention of treadle pumps in semi-peripheral countries (erstwhile also called as developing countries) increased the net irrigated area, crop diversification and in turn, the farm outputs. In the tribal belts of Konkan region in Maharashtra, marginal farmers from a number of villages largely depend on treadle pumps for manually irrigating their farms. However, there exist only a few designs that are manufactured and sold worldwide. These pumps are designed for specific field conditions (having particular total head and flow rate requirements) and may not be appropriate for most of the farm conditions, especially, in undulating terrains such as the terrain in most of the Konkan regions in Maharashtra.
Until now, none of the published efforts carried out analytical modeling of the treadle pump to optimize its design according to the contextual requirements. Therefore, we aim to design and develop an optimal pump for tribal farmers in the hilly regions through a synergistic approach involving analytical modeling of the treadle pump and field-level testing. Our preliminary calculations obtained through analytical models suggest that the flow rate can be improved by as much as 40 per cent with a cost reduction up to 50 per cent.