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Khandwa,Catching every droplet
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Taking initiative
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Pure rain
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As priceless as amrit
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D V Subramanaian
Ashutosh Agnihotri


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Vol. 4   

No. 4

August-September  2002

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Taking initiative

The residents of Greater Kailash I (GK I) and Som Vihar in Delhi have recently inaugurated rainwater harvesting (RWH) projects. Delhi’s chief minister, Sheela Dixit was the chief guest. She assured the residents that "The government has enough funds to finance RWH projects, under the Bhagidari scheme."


Greater Kailash I

It all started five years back, when failing to access ‘Canadian expertise’ for RWH, promised by a local MLA, Naveen Agarwal, a resident decided to take action, himself. After studying the hydro-geological aspects he prepared a plan, which was rejected by the residents. Unfazed, Agarwal went ahead and installed it at his own residence. After just one monsoon, the water table of his borewell went up by four meters, leaving many to reconsider.

Now, the GK resident welfare association (RWA) has constructed four recharge structures. These will collect rooftop runoff from 80 units and storm water. The project cost is about one lakh and one-third of it is contributed by the RWA. The rest of it was given by Coca Cola (corporate-citizenship program) under the Bhagidari scheme.


Som Vihar

Ever since it was built, Som Vihar, is completely dependent on groundwater, which has gone down from eight m (1982) to 45 m (2002). As the state supply was negligible, the residents installed two tubewells to meet their daily water requirement.

Looking for alternatives, the residents decided to install RWH and catch 712 mm of rain annually – collecting about one crore litres of water from the roof and surface. CSE and Central Ground Water Board have designed seven recharge structures. When on the day of inauguration, for Som Vihar, Dixit promised to bear the implementation cost of Rs five lakh, Brig Kohli, a resident remarked, "This much the government should do, as within 15 years, we have paid almost seven and half crores, as property tax and are still paying Rs 30 per month to DJB for not supplying us water."

Experiments with water

Where there is a will there is a way’, goes a popular saying, which perfectly applies to Vijay Kedia, an Aurangabad-based mechanical engineer cum builder.

While working on the family farm, his understanding of water and its various facets improved. Further, the knowledge of the traditional rainwater harvesting systems of Rajasthan encouraged him to innovatively modify the existing techniques to suit the local context. Dewas roofwater filter, Kedia-farm pattern bandhara (an earthen dam, commonly found in Maharashtra) and a rain gauge are the result of this eight years of exploration. The potentiality of these low cost structures in eradicating ecological and economic poverty has been widely acknowledged.

Kedia bandhara costs only Rs 5,000 and can capture 70 – 80 per cent of the monsoon runoff, while keeping the soil moist for next five to six months. These are constructed by digging a two feet wide and eight to ten feet deep trench before the bandhara, and refilling it with soil after vertically lining it with a PVC sheet. The trench acts as a vertical aquifer. The PVC sheet prevents water percolation beyond the aquifer. In his farm, following the seventh century model at Ghadasisar in Jaisalmer, the bhandaras are constructed in a series – thus, preventing the runoff going waste. The wells are constructed in the bottom of the bhandara – ensuring a sustained availability of water.

These days he is actively spreading the knowledge around with one message - "Sai jitna dee jiye, wame kutumb samaye" (rain god is giving us enough water, it has to be managed intelligently), which Kedia believes can sustainably solve the water scarcity.

For further information:

Vijay Kedia
72, Pannalal Nagar,
Aurangabad 431005 Maharashtra
Tel: 0240-337974/ 339934


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