Catch a glimpse of Ra­jasthan’s smart vil­lage

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Rajasthan - Suresh Foud­jar htraj@hin­dus­tan­times.com

BHARAT­PUR: Ev­ery house­hold in Ra­jasthan’s Dhanora vil­lage has toi­lets,ac­cess to smooth roads and a sewage treat­ment plant (STP). But, it was not so two years ago, thanks to a land­mark ini­tia­tive by an In­dian Rev­enue Ser­vice (IRS) of­fi­cial who made the dream a re­al­ity with the help of an NGO.

He is Satya­pal Singh Meena, who is a na­tive of Dhanora, about 40 kilo­me­tres from Dholpur. He is on the ad­vi­sory board of Ma­ha­rash­tra-based NGO Eco Needs Foun­da­tion along with Union rail min­is­ter Suresh Prabhu.

Meena got as­so­ci­ated with the foun­da­tion dur­ing his post­ing in Pune and re­quested it to work in his na­tive vil­lage in Ra­jasthan..

There are 250 house­holds in the vil­lage and each has a func­tional toi­let linked to the sewer line which in turn con­nects to a sew­er­age treat­ment plant (STP). Treated wa­ter from the STP feeds an ar­ti­fi­cial ir­ri­ga­tion canal, Meena said.

The NGO, which is also pur­su­ing a sim­i­lar project in Ma­ha­rash­tra’s Par­soda vil­lage, be­gan its work in Dhano­ria in 2014. But, it had to spend one year in con­vinc­ing peo­ple about the plan, win­ning their faith and in­volv­ing them to make the project a suc­cess.

“We started with toi­lets,” says Priyanand Agale, pres­i­dent of the NGO. He is a civil en­gi­neer by pro­fes­sion and ex­pert in wa­ter re­sources man­age­ment. “We have com­pleted the sewer line and 80% of the STP work. We waited for the mon­soon to test our ca­pac­i­ties be­fore fin­ish­ing the re­main­ing 20% work. The sewer line is func­tional and the STP will be­come func­tional in two months.”

The STP, 500 me­tres away from the vil­lage on a pas­ture land do­nated by the pan­chayat, will pro­vide treated wa­ter to an ar­ti­fi­cial canal from which farm­ers can use it for ir­ri­ga­tion. “We will make the wa­ter suit­able for cat­tle drink­ing also,” Agale said.

Dhanora sarpanch Devki Meena is happy his vil­lage will soon “look like a city”. “The foun­da­tion has spent money on mak­ing our lives bet­ter. We have bet­ter roads in the vil­lage now,” he said. The NGO worked on road widen­ing to make all of them even. “We had to re­move en­croach­ment, tell peo­ple not to dump cow dung on roads and do some re­fit­ting to make all vil­lage roads of even width for uni­for­mity,” Agale said.

The vil­lage has con­crete roads with solar street lights. The NGO will soon plant 1,000 trees around the vil­lage, set up a skill de­vel­op­ment cen­tre, a med­i­ta­tion cen­tre and a li­brary at the pan­chayat of­fice.

An ar­ti­fi­cial canal that drains away treated sewer wa­ter in Dhanora vil­lage. HT PHOTO

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