Drinking water crisis is growing everyday in different parts of the country. Mathura (UP) has a peculiar crisis because 85% of the ground water is saline. The salinity starts from the top layer of water, which makes it even worst. Hence, there is acute shortage of drinking water in Mathura district.
Several public and private sector companies, state governments and NGOs have installed water supply project schemes but have failed to deliver because of bad planning, poor management, lack of commitment and other vested interests.
On the contrary, The Braj Foundation took the initiative of supplying clean drinking water to the historic Chiksauli aand Maanpur villages of Barsana in Mathura and is running the project very successfully. This could be implemented with the financial support of Oil Industries Drought Relief Board.
Chiksauli village has a peculiar terrene, on one side it is surrounded by high hills and there is no source of sweet drinking water in its vicinity of a few kilometers. The Braj Foundation had to locate water in grove of Kadam trees, far beyond the hills. This area was selected because there is perennial water logging in this grove which ensures sufficient supply of ground water.
A deep bore has been done here with a attached pump room. And water thus lifted is sent through a long pipeline to the foot-hill in a newly constructed water tank of 1.25 Lakh litres. From here the water is lifted to the hilltop where again it is stored in a newly constructed water tank of 1.25 Lakh litres. From this tank it is sent down the hill, on the other side, to every lane of Chiksauli and Maanpur villages.
The two water tanks with a capacity of 1.25 Lakh Ltr each
The project has been duly implemented and is providing fresh drinking water to over 300 households so far. More households are getting interested in becoming members of this scheme.
Villagers benefitting from the water scheme
This water supply scheme is also watering the following four major ecological restoration projects in the local vicinity – Dohini Kund & Vihar Kund, pipe lines have also been installed for Ratangiri Hill regeneration project (funded by UNDP SGP) and Gahvarvan forest (funded by IOCL).
It would be noteworthy that this happens to be one of the very few drinking water supply projects in the rural area which is operational and is duly serving the local community. Each member of the sceme has to deposit security amount of Rs. 750 and has to pay a monthly charge of Rs. 100.
We have set an example by forming a local registered trust of the villagers, which makes the operational costs self-sustaining from the monthly contributions received from the villagers. Initially Foundation had to incur Rs. 3 lakhs for the year long operation of this scheme.
Pipes for supply of water to the two villages already installed
Initially the project had the provision of powering the entire scheme through diesel gen-sets. This proposition was causing a heavy operational burden. Anticipating the additional support from OIDB for such a genuine and successful project we took a loan and got the entire scheme electrified so that the operational costs go down substantially.
Ever since the electric supply has been ensured the sceme is running well and villagers are very happy with this sewa which none had done for them since independence of the country.
Future plans of providing drinking water in Braj
We have prepared similar project plans for several other villages in Braj. As and when the funds are available we will keep installing these projects. Depending upon the local condsition the cost may vary from 15 lakh Rs to 35 lakh Rs. Providing clean drinking water to poor people is beneficial from two points of view 1) It is a sewa to humanity, 2) It ensures better health for them because 80% rural India gets water borne diseases.