Pune: Tata Power, India’s largest integrated power company, has always undertaken initiatives to ensure holistic development of its communities. In line with the philosophy, Tata Power undertook ‘Watershed Initiative’ at Devapur and Shirtav villages in Palsawade site to improve the watershed work in the region. The initiative was aimed at addressing water conservation and to increase the seepage of rain water to the ground water table in the region. Tata Power partnered with Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra, Ahmednagar as the implementing agency to build Sub-surface dams (underground soil check dams) at Devapur and Shirtav villages of Mann Block of Satara District.
Devapur model of water conservation replicated in Shirtav village and it has inaugurated recently by Mann Tehsildar Mrs. Surekha Mane and BDO Mr. Sangale along with villagers and other Govt. staff.
Under the initiative, Tata Power along with its implementing agency for the project built 5 Sub-surface dams in Devapur and Shirtav village respectively. 5 sub-surface dams were constructed last year. The initiative had direct impact on 30 hectares of land surrounding the area with improved water table and has also helped in recharging 15 wells and 25 bore wells. Sub-surface dams have covered approx. 4 KM area of the Devapur and Shirtav site which has ensured naturally to conserve ground water level of the particular belt.
The villages have been benefitted with adequate drinking water along with water for irrigation. As a result, the farmers were able to reap in extra crop, post implementation of the initiative improving on the overall agricultural performance, positively impacting the economy of the region. The initiative has also helped in increasing the capacity of the water retention structures, water percolation to ground water and the surrounding fields, thus rejuvenating with the adequate water supply. The villagers are expecting similar results in the coming year at Shirtav, where Sub Surface Soil Dams are constructed this summer.
Speaking on the achievement, Mr. Mahesh Paranjpe- Chief – Hydro & Renewable Operations, Tata Power said, “Tata Power has always strived hard to support its communities for their holistic development. The watershed initiative is a step forward to ensure that the villages at the Palsawade site receive sufficient water for drinking and irrigation even during the peak summer season. We are thankful to Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra, Ahmednagar for assisting in implementing the project and addressing the issue successfully. We will strive further and work in unison with the locals to ensure that the project gets implemented in the adjoining areas of the site as well”.
This project has enthused the locals who foresee a brighter outlook for the future with the improved water management in the region. The water conservation measures of the project have ensured storage of water and increase of the water table. Wells have been recharged and now hold water for longer periods of the year thus providing some measure of drought proofing. Manifold Increase in farm output has generated confidence and boosted the rural economy.
The project has been exponentially beneficial for the villages and Tata Power is further exploring more ways to maximize the benefits. Considering the many intangibles, this project has performed way past its projected benefits and has become a model for surrounding areas along the river side which can now hope to adopt this method of holistic development.
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