In order to achieve sustainable development in today’s age, technological innovation and environmental consciousness should go hand in hand. This was the motive behind the one-day project presentation competition, Tiger Tech.
At this day-long competition and exhibition, the Melghat Tiger Reserve decided to go for the ‘Kula Uran’ model of eco-friendly protection huts, designed by students from Visvesvarya National Institute of Technology (VNIT).
The competition provided the platform to young innovators to try and come up with solutions to the issues that are grappling forests and wildlife. The first of its kind competition was organised by the Melghat Tiger Reserve at VNIT. The competition saw 85 projects, out of which 42 were shortlisted and 39 were presented.
“We would certainly channelize some of the ideas and solutions in the field of wildlife and nature conservation that came up in the event,” said MS Reddy, the Melghat Tiger Reserve chief conservator & field director.
VNIT’s Kula Uran prototype was chosen as the best overall project and bagged a Rs 51,000 cash prize.
“Kula Uran has been designed with purely local style and material. Even in peak summer temperatures remain cool and during rains, water doesn’t leak inside due to the quality of grass available locally,” said Sameer Deshkar, who mentored the project.
“We also have an option to use thermos-press tiles and of new eco-friendly material onduline. With material available in the same area its cost will around 30,000 each, cheaper than concrete structures,” the Assistant Professor added.
Another team from VNIT developed a video-based sensor prototype, that would work towards curbing man-animal conflict.
Pranav Gollapudi, who was a part of the team, explained their idea saying,“Our project mainly aims to provide a solution to prevent human interference in the forest. An alert system is being developed which would alert both the forest managers and the rangers to compel them to take action. We are also using machine learning to make our system learn and identify about the different flora and fauna in forest.”
The exhibition was inaugurated by VNIT director Narendra Chowdhary and PCCF (wildlife) AK Misra. The jury panel included BT Ingole, Kishor Rithe, Manoj Chandak, Aneesh Andheria, Bhushan Kasturiwale, TSK Reddy and VA Maslekar.
Given the rise in the electrocution of wild animals, in order to save crops, many projects in the exhibition had ideas about solar fencing with a few modifications. A team from PR Pote College of Engineering, Amravati, developed a prototype censor fence that raised alarms from 6 meters.
“There is also a night vision camera which would alert the farmer about presence of animals at his farm. Per acre cost of the project comes to Rs25,000,” said SS Mendhe, professor with the mechanical department.
Two students from Nagbhid had developed a prototype of a distribution unit that would stop the theft of electricity from the meter.
Talking about the initiative, Jaydeep Das, the Coordinator of Tiger Tech said, “This was the first experience, but it is for sure that a thinking process among engineering students about problems facing the department has begun. Several designs came up, which can be modified into successful models. ”
Information and cover image sourced from timesofindia