Ahead of monsoons, the state government along with NGOs has set a target of recharging 10,000 borewells in Latur city to combat the drinking water crisis due to drought. A process to save every drop of water in monsoons to enhance the water tables has been worked out.
The water conservation department, Latur district administration and the NGOs have jointly launched the mammoth exercise to save rainwater from June. “Taking lessons from drought, and especially when people had to rely on drinking water supplied through trains, we are gearing up to make the most of the monsoons. A detailed multi-pronged strategy to create additional water storages and save every drop across sectors has been worked out,” a senior district officer told The Indian Express.
Different models for water conservation have been set up to meet the requirements of rural households, urban lifestyle and industrial areas. In local parlance, ‘magic pit’ is a model which is adaptable to every household as a simple and effective way to save water.
To begin with, the initiative from the people has culminated in reviving the Manzara river, which was always the best source of water supply to the city with a population of five lakh. The Rs 7.5 crore river project entails deeping and desilting to bring the river back to life. It has turned into a dry bed.
The entire project, which is part funded by CMO, public funds and NGOs, has set the target to complete the work before June. A large number of people from the city and villages have come forward to provide their services guided by district officials and NGO Jan Kalyan.
On Wednesday, the 24th train reached Latur city to supply drinking water. Till now, the total water supply has crossed four crore litres.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ordered the train water should continue till rain comes.
In Latur, several small forums have been constituted to provide scientific and technological knowledge to its people on “save per drop water”.
“We are knocking on every household to generate awareness on water harvesting by providing technology and logistic support to the people,” said Jan Kalyan Manch office-bearer Chandan Kataria.
The organisation, which has successfully carried out water harvesting projects in other drought-prone districts, is replicating the model based on the requirements of Latur city. Kataria said, “In the backyard of every household or society, we have asked them to dig a pit. It would be layered with pebbles, charcoal and sand. This helps the filtration of water which percolates deep.”
Kataria said, “This drought has sensitised people. The NRIs connected to Latur have come forward to help. The most touching was the donation of Rs 21,000 from children in Anand Nagar (Latur), which is a red light area.”