Catch a glimpse of Rajasthan’s smart village
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