Due to the stubble burning issues in the Punjab state which eventually resulted in polluting the air of the National Capital Region (NCR) at a hazardous level. IIT Ropar has claimed that they have come up with a low-cost solution to resolve the issue to a high extent.
The institute has also filed a patent for the technology developed by the engineers of the institute. IIT Ropar has decided to showcase the development in a conference that is yet to be held in Delhi where institutes from all over India will come to showcase their solutions of the paddy and stubble burning issues that cause pollution hazards in Delhi.
The Director of IIT Ropar, Prof Sarit K Das has said that the institute is determined to provide help to the government to address the pollution issues of the National Capital Region. The institute will provide efficient yet cost-friendly solutions in this regard and combat public health consequences.
The principal investigator of the project, Prof Harpreet Singh says that 80% of dry straw and 50% of paddy straw which are produced in the fields are burnt in the field itself. This causes an increase in the pollution levels in the air and also damages the quality of the soil.
He informed that as the advancement of the agricultural processes continued, combined harvesters use most of the paddy straw in the cause of re-harvesting but the dry staws are still kept in the fields as a residue. The straws do not have any recyclable value or commercial value so the farmers chose to burn it for clearing their fields.
Mr. Singh informed that the invention of IIT Ropar can be used to remove the straws instantly after harvesting in the field and clear the field in a very less amount of time. The invention works with both wheat and rice stubble.
The innovation of IIT Ropar needs only one person to operate the machine. The machine needs to be installed between tractor and trolley and the tractor itself powers it. The cost of the installation will be around 5 to 6 lakh rupees. Talking about the working process of the machine, professor Singh said that The header part of the straw reaper will be used to cut the straw. The revolving reel behind that pushes straws towards the auger which is a drilling device used for drilling in the ground. The auger forwards the straw to the conveyer, which finally takes the straw to the trolley for efficient transportation. The collected stubble is then taken away from the field and can be cycled to make manure.
Professor Singh added if the government shows interest, the institute will provide the technology to them.
Another principal investigator of the project, Dr. Prabir Sarkar said that the machine allows to chop the straws from a few centimeters above the ground and automatically transports it to a storage chamber which is easy for transportation and the operation of the installation does not need any manpower but the driver of the tractor. This will cut down labor and extra diesel expenses which were the main two concerns raised by the state government of Punjab.
The stubble chopping mechanism can be controlled with an android phone and has the feature of the Interactive Voce Response (IVR) System for making it easy for the farmers to instruct the machine. The app can receive orders over the phone or IVR for starting its work automatically. The automated system of the machine allows it to be fully automatic if the farmers register the size of the field and schedule of chopping in the app.
The stubble collected by the machine can be used for recycling, power generation, fertilizer making and in a lot of renewable solutions. Farmers can send the machine anywhere they want.
Dr. Prabir Sarkar has informed that the production cost of the machine is around 3 lakh rupees but it can come down if production started on an industrial scale. The premier institute has also come up with an efficient self-sustaining Stubble Management System which the districts can avail in a co-operative manner with IIT Ropar.