MIDC Policy on Groundwater Recharge : Grave Concern –by Sashi G Dalvi

Col Shashi G Dalvi (Rtd)

District Manager (Pune)
The Climate Reality Project, India


The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) is the back-bone for Industrial revolution in the state of Maharashtra. It has about 233 industrial complexes spread over 1,30,000 acres of land all over the state. It provides fully developed industrial plots with all the necessary infrastructure, including roads, electricity and water etc.

MIDC provides water to its complexes using water tankers where required. MIDC provides approximately 2240 Million Litres of water every single day. This generates an annual water revenue of Rs 500 Crores.

MIDC policy states that all the industrial water requirements can only be met by MIDC. It permits RWH systems on Industrial Structures, but does not allow the harvested rain water to be used. This short sighted policy, while generating revenue, is adding to the water shortage in the rest of the state

The average annual rain fall across the state is 1300 mm. It varies from 400 mm to 6000 mm. Using the state average of 1300 mm, the RWH potential per acre is roughly 4.4 million litres. The total potential across 1,30,000 acres is enormous. The Hinjewadi IT park Phase 1 & 2 has a total land holding of approximately 440 acres. The annual rainwater potential, using Pune’s average figures of 770 mm, is about 1100 Million litres. This potential, if used judiciously, will make large amounts of water available for agriculture & domestic usage. At the same time, implementing RWH schemes on such large areas will help improve ground water levels. It will also help reduce the Carbon footprint.

A reduced dependence on Tanker Water has other implications as well. Reduced water costs for industry mean increased profits. This can be used for improving quality of the products and increased employment. Water, that is not consumed by industrial units can be diverted to public supply, thereby increasing water availability for citizens. Improved ground water levels will help everyone who lives around the area. A reduced Carbon Footprint is not only helpful to the environment, but it can be used for advertising the green credentials, which, in turn, can improve investments in the MIDC.

This can only happen if Citizen Groups and the MCCIA can work together to influence Government policies around the MIDC. Only working together, can real change be achieved.

Last few years our state is facing water crisis, due to deficit monsoon. Industry consumes more than 20% of fresh water, its dependency on groundwater is also on rise, on fails to understand as to why govt is not making Rain Water Harvesting mandatory for industry , when govt has made RWH mandatory for public & govt buildings since Feb 2002 vied their GR titled " Shiv Kaalin Paani Saathavan Yojana" . This will not only reduce its fresh water demand by almost 50 % but also help recharge groundwater table. Some how Govt wait till disaster occurs. Let us hope present drought situation helps govt to initiate RWH mandatory for Industry.

Col. Sashi G Dalvi (Rtd)

Parjanya, rain water havesting consultancy was established in March 2002. On retirement, Col(Retd) Shashikant Dalvi successfully designed and implemented ROOF TOP RAIN WATER HARVESTING (RWH) project in his own residential society. This project was one of its kind in Pune, and was appreciated by all the citizens in and around Pune.

National Water Academy, Pune. has included a visit to the society as a part of their course syllabus to study functioning of this project. Many engineers from all over India have visited the society and are benefited. Since then a number of residential societies and educational institutions have implemented this project to tide over the water shortage. A wide publicity was given by the media, keeping in mind the need and interest of the people.

Since 2003, More than 150 RWH projects have been successfully implemented by us. The projects include Hospitals, Multi-Storied Complexes, Schools, Colleges, Industry and so on. Seminars on RWH Awareness were also conducted under the aegis of MCCIA, Pune. National Water Academy, Khadwasla, Pune invites Col Shashikant Dalvi to address senior executive Engineers from all the states every year.

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