Spring in a box

A vil­lage in Ma­ha­rash­tra solves its wa­ter cri­sis by build­ing un­der­ground boxes to tap spring wa­ter

Down to Earth - - GOODNEWS - MUKTA PATIL |

VPanch­gani, a IL­LAGES AROUND quaint hill sta­tion in Satara dis­trict of Ma­ha­rash­tra, have been fac­ing a se­vere wa­ter cri­sis for a decade.One of th­ese vil­lages, Akhe­gani, has, how­ever, found a way to over­come the cri­sis—it taps un­der­ground spring wa­ter.

Till re­cently,it had to de­pend on tankers for drink­ing wa­ter. Th­ese sup­plied barely 1,000 litres of wa­ter ev­ery dayay for the vil­lage pop­u­la­tion of about 600 peo­ple, mostly farm­ers, ac­c­cord­ing to records avail­able with the mu­nic­i­pal body, Panch­gani Na­gar Pa­lika. This trans­lates to 1.6 litres per per­son. In com­par­i­son, the hill sta­tion re­ceives 133 litres of

MA­HA­RASH­TRA

Satara wa­ter per per­son from the nearby Dhom dam. A few farm­ers in Akhe­gani own wells and borewells, the wa­ter from which is used mainly for ir­ri­ga­tion.

“We would be with­out wa­ter for most parts of the year,” re­mem­bers Ar­chana Gawde, one of the many vil­lage res­i­dents who has strug­gled to get drink­ing wa­ter. Things changed in 2012 when the peo­ple in Akhe­ganiA joined hands with Gram­pari,a non-profit in Pa Panch­gani, to build spring boxes that tap un­der­ground spring wa­ter.The com­mu­nity ef­fort has turned Akhe­gani’s fate from be­ing a wa­ter­starved vil­lage to a selfsu suf­fi­cient one.“Now there is

KAR­NATAKA A AN NG LA TE

Con­struc­tion of a spring box takes about 10 days. The pan­chayat and com­mu­ni­ties are re­spon­si­ble for its main­te­nance

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