Inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal to citizens about water conservation, a young entrepreneur in Kolkata has set up a rainwater harvesting mechanism at a manufacturing unit within a week.
In a bid to take her three-decade-old family business to a new direction, Preeyam Budhia (32) set up the rainwater harvesting and groundwater recharging unit in Uluberia near Howrah where the Patton Group of Industries has an engineering and steel manufacturing plant.
This came within days after the Prime Minister spoke at length about water conservation in his latest ‘Mann Ki Baat’ episode. Budhia said after listening to Modi’s address, she thought it was the duty of every Indian to be a part of this initiative and save water in every possible way.
“We believe that every drop of water counts and the next war is going to be fought over water. So we believe that conserving the same is very important. Patton, as an environmentally conscious company, has taken up the initiative of rainwater harvesting across Bengal. We are setting up 52 such projects in places like Darjeeling, Purulia and Bankura,” said the business development head of the firm.
Budhia, an alumni of Nottingham University and London School of Economics, also applauded Network18’s Mission Paani initiative which spreads awareness about preventing water crises.
“Mission Paani is a great initiative. We too are happy to be able to do our bit at the Uluberia plant. Preserving water is precious. We are conserving water today for a better tomorrow.
“Setting up a rainwater harvesting mechanism is not expensive at all. One only has to bear the cost of tanks and pipes. But that is nothing when compared to the value of water conserved,” she said.
The set-up at Ulubera can now accommodate 30,000 litre of rainwater. By next week, another two tanks of 10,000 litre each, would be set up which would increase the capacity to 50,000 litre. This would be more than the daily need of the unit here, she said.
Budhia has also set up a 1MW solar panel at one of her plants in Behala and is planning to come up with a similar panel in Uluberia.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has initiated a similar ‘Jal Dhoro, Jal Bhoro’ campaign to fight water scarcity. Several school children took part in a rally last week to spread the message on water conservation.
Purulia and Bankura are some districts that are often reeling from water crises. Though Kolkata does not face any scarcity, conservation of water is important to ensure a safe future.
At present, citizens in the urban pockets receive about 250 per capita per litre of water as compared to the requirement of 300 per capital per litre of water leading to a 30% deficit in water supply. To meet the demand, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation is mixing groundwater pumped through borewells with surface water.
Environment expert and professor at Jadavpur University Amit Datta said it was very important for citizens to come forward and play their roles in the process of water conservation.
“Fifteen years ago, the groundwater level was 7-8 metre, now it has reached 15 metre. If it continues like this, there will be problems like ground subsidence to other contamination-related issues,” Dutta said.
The increasing level of arsenic in water is also a cause of concern for people across the state as it leads to digestive disorders and skin-related problems to name a few.
“In many cases, people depend on their own borewells but this also raises concerns over the quality of ground-level water. In North and South 24 Parganas districts, water is particularly contaminated due to the high usage of ground-level water along with surface water,” the professor added.
Source: News 18