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Swing thing

In a time when the economy is still in the doldrums and environmental welfare is first and foremost on everyone's minds...

Written by RishiIyengar |
June 8, 2009 3:08:18 am

The University of Pune is doing its bit for the environment as well as for the general public while simultaneously meeting its irrigation needs at a much lower cost

In a time when the economy is still in the doldrums and environmental welfare is first and foremost on everyone’s minds,the University of Pune has come up with a novel idea to tackle both these problems. The new swing in the park near the university’s jogging track is like any other swing,except for one key difference: It is used to water all the plants in the park.

The swing is connected to twin pumps,which are then attached to a tank filled with water. As the swing moves to and fro,so do the pumps. They siphon water out of the tank,which is then supplied to the plants using a drip irrigation system.

The pump is capable of lifting water from a depth of 10 metres to a height of 30 metres,and can generate up to 10 litres of water per minute.

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The university has also installed a cycle pump,which works on the same principle as the swing,except that instead of a drip system it is connected to two sprinklers. Dnyaneshwar Takle,student of the university and resident of the hostel opposite the park,uses both devices on a daily basis. “It is a great initiative,and it feels great to know that while I am doing my morning exercise or just sitting on the swing and studying,I am also watering the plants and helping to maintain the beauty of the surroundings,” says Takle. “It’s not just me,but many other people who come in the morning and evening,both from the university and outside. With so many people making their own small contribution to the project,it adds up to a huge magnitude of water being generated,” he adds.

These devices were created four years ago by Chandrakant Pathak of the Modern Technical Centre,and were installed in the campus a few weeks ago. ” People come to the park for a walk or run,and the swing provides a good place for them to rest. As soon as they sit,the motion of the swing starts the pumps,and hereby provides water to all the surrounding plants. It thus helps in irrigation at no extra cost,” says Pathak. “Even if they sit for just 10 minutes,they kgenerate 100 litres of water right there,” he adds proudly.

Pathak says that the cycle pump is also enthusiastically used,and many people have welcomed the project not only for its benefit to the environment,but also for the basic reason that it provides them with a medium to exercise and lose weight.

Both devices were inaugurated on May 14 by well-known social and environmental activist Anna Hazare,along with the vice-chancellor of Pune University,Narendra Jadhav.

Not only is this project a cost-saving venture,it is also eco-friendly and saves large amounts of water,without using elaborate generators or energy-consuming devices.

This is a noble effort undertaken by the University of Pune,and more such initiatives will go a long way in making our city a cleaner,greener and better place to live in.

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