The Telegraph
Saturday , July 5 , 2014
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Bagbera rain gain before pipe dream

Rainwater harvesting will work as a stop-gap solution in and around parched Bagbera and Govindpur, till the mega Rs 272-crore Bagbera-Govindpur piped water supply scheme, funded by World Bank, gets commissioned in some three years’ time.

A five-member team of KRG Rainwater Foundation, Chennai, appointed by state drinking water and sanitation department to explore possibilities of increasing groundwater table in and around Bagbera and Govindpur, as well as across the state, conducted a spot recce on Friday.

This summer, water table had fallen to 300 feet and more in some pockets of Bagbera-Govindpur.

The Chennai team, led by the CEO of KRG Rainwater Foundation R. Raghu Raman, has started identifying groundwater recharge zones and bore well locations.

The team will complete its survey within three-four months and submit its findings reports along with a design of artificial recharge structures to the state drinking water and sanitation department.

Based on this, the department will invite tenders to set up rainwater harvesting structures and get new bore wells dug.

Speaking to The Telegraph, R. Raghu Raman said they have bagged the statewide project, with Bagbera and Govindpur areas as the pilot job.

“The Bagbera-Govindpur water scheme has been given to us as a pilot project. Gradually, we will conduct similar surveys in different parts of the state facing water crisis and prepare an action plan to increase water level by recharging groundwater and rainwater harvesting,” Raman said.

The team also interacted with local Panchayat Raj Institution members to find out their specific needs and problems and asked their help in selecting proper recharge zones and bore well locations.

“We are carrying out a hydro-geological study of water to locate groundwater using tools and remote-sensing data. We have found 11 sites for artificial recharge zones of rainwater in Bagbera today (Friday). But, we are also speaking to people directly to know their views,” Raman said.

Executive engineer of drinking water and sanitation department (Jamshedpur division) Suresh Prasad said the Bagbera-Govindpur water supply scheme would take at least three years for commissioning.

“Till then, rainwater harvesting will be ideal for groundwater recharge. People can fulfill their basic needs through bore well,” Prasad said.

On paper since 2006, the tender process for the mega Bagbera-Govindpur water project was completed last month and was bagged by IL&FS. The technical evaluation of the project will be completed this month while the construction work will commence by August. Once done, it will benefit over four lakh people.