In densely populated urban areas, flooding is a legitimate scare. The flood crisis in Kerala has worsened in the last one week, and other surrounding areas aren’t in the clear.
Areas in Coastal Karnataka and Kodagu have been facing a fresh batch of monsoon winds, and with the weather getting worse, urban flooding may one day become a reality in Bengaluru.
Well, as reported in the Bengaluru Mirror, DC Sekhar, a city-based innovator who is a former Merchant Navy captain, has taken notice of this and has come up with an interesting solution.
Sekhar has invented an Urban Flood Relief Raft (UFRR), to help evacuate people from low-lying urban areas during floods. These rafts reach where traditional inflatable and hard boats do not.
How does this raft work?
The body of the UFRR is made of aluminium, and its frames are made of stainless steel. The raft can accommodate around four people.
Sekhar gave a demonstration to the Bangalore Mirror and spoke of the difficulties of evacuating people from flooded urban areas. He mentioned the 2014 Jammu and Kashmir floods, where the army had used boats to evacuate stranded people. Heavy and fixed, these boats could not be lifted easily.
Sekhar also explained that traditional inflatable rafts could get punctured while traversing in an urban setting where there are many underwater obstacles.
The UFRR has impressive mobility—each part is less than 15 kilos, and Sekhar claims it can be easily assembled by two people, under three minutes. The body of the URFF is made of aluminium and frames of stainless steel, so it cannot get punctured. In case it gets damaged, water won’t get inside, as the raft is full of lightweight foam, and will remain afloat even after multiple panels are damaged.
Colour coded, the rafts are easy to pack, and can be stored in a box in a garage, and can be assembled and brought out whenever the need arises. The price of the raft is approximately around Rs 1.6 lakh. An electric motor can be fitted onto it for Rs 65000, after which it can be used to tow additional rafts. Towing lugs and oars are part of the raft.
Last year, during the Bengaluru floods, residents of the Koramangala 4th Block, purchased an inflatable boat to move around the locality. Waterlogging has become a perennial issue in all our cities thanks to poor urban planning. Hopefully, Sekhar’s invention will help those in stranded areas get to safety.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)