A few days ago, Rashneh Pardiwala emailed: “Glad to inform you that CERE has successfully completed one of the largest rainwater harvesting systems in Mumbai city for Mumbai Police at their Armed Headquarters at Naigaon. The Commissioner of Police inaugurated the project on 3 Oct 2017”.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Dattatray Padsalgikar inaugurating the rainwater harvesting system last week
Anurag Kamble reported in the Midday newspaper that the police precinct houses 2,335 families of the constabulary, a municipal school and a police hospital. It also serves as a base for three battalions and many special units. There are three large training grounds and national level sportspersons practising at the hockey maidan. Despite this, for the past 15 years, the locality has been receiving less than 15 minutes of municipal water supply each day.
“Every summer, delegations of cops’ families come to us begging for a solution. Also, whenever training camps were held, which happens at regular intervals, we had to arrange for water tankers, as we never had enough drinking water,” said Additional Commissioner (Armed Police) Aswati Dorje. “And, during the monsoon, the ground would get completely waterlogged. We wanted to fix all these problems permanently”.
Then the Centre for Environmental Research and Education (CERE) came to their rescue, suggesting a solution
“For the past three years, we were working with the Mumbai police to plant 500 native trees in Naigaon, under the Urban Afforestation Project. During one of those visits, we learnt about the acute water shortage and flooding problem in the area. We asked the administration if we could do rainwater harvesting here, and after a survey, gave them a presentation. We received the go-ahead immediately,” said Dr Rashneh Pardiwala, founder and director of CERE. “We got approval in March and literally worked day and night for three-and-a-half months to get the system up and running”.
Dr Rashneh Pardiwala, founder director of CERE, shows where the rainwater harvesting project was installed in Naigaon. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Phase 2: to create a natural reed bed system to treat waste water:
A long-term solution to water scarcity is to recycle grey water from the kitchen. This project component involves treating a part of the grey water from the police residential colonies through an effective and natural Reed Bed System and using the clean treated water to maintain the open grounds. Therefore, this intervention will help
(a) conserve potable water for watering open grounds,
(b) recharge the ground water table, and
(c) reduce wastage of water.
CERE is currently looking for funding for this phase of the project.
Highly recommended: a video about the detail of the project which may be accessed here: http://cere-india.org/rwh-with-the-mumbai-police/