Kolkata, June 10: The Institute of Wetland Management and Ecological Design has launched an elaborate rain water harvesting project in the Birbhum and Purulia districts to be operational this monsoon.
The fluoride contamination of groundwater in Birbhum has become a point of serious concern for the Public Health Engineering (PHE) authorities. Five villages will be covered at one go under this project being implemented by the PHE, with technical expertise from the institute. These are located in the Nalhati 1, Siuri and Rajnagar blocks of Birbhum.
Birbhum was the first district to detect fluoride contamination of underground water. Under these circumstances rainwater harvesting was seen as a good alternative. Though rainwater harvesting facilities had been set up at Birbhum in the past by different agencies of the state government, most of them have been on an ad hoc basis.
The project involves collecting rainwater that accumulates on the roof tops of high school buildings. The collected water will then be transferred to a PVC tank and an underground concrete reservoir with a capacity of 1,25,000 litres and 4,50,000 litres respectively. When the need arises, this water will then be passed through a sand filter and a bacteria filter, before being diverted to households through pipelines.
In Purulia district, where water resources are scarce, the PHE has devised similar rain water harvesting techniques with help from the institute for use during dry months. “But we have also made an arrangement to tap spring water that trickles down the Ayodhya Hills. The spring water can be collected, treated and stored to be put to use during dry months. The residents of Gowalikocha village in Purulia will benefit from the programme,” said Tapan Saha, scientist with Institute of Wetland Management and Ecological Design.