In a big city like Noida, there are no more ponds as all of them have been encroached upon. This is a dangerous trend and if it continues will leave no ponds, which are most the potent water bodies for groundwater recharge. People must stop disposing waste in ponds and lakes and encroaching upon them, as this is gradually pointing us towards the end of groundwater resources in India.”
Ramveer and his team of core members and volunteers have revived over ten lakes so far, since their collaborative efforts that began in 2014. The revival of a lake takes anywhere between Rs 2 to Rs 25 lakh, depending on its size,” says Ramveer. “I used to shell out money from my pocket. My friends who are active in the cause also contributed equally. One of them is a lawyer, one is an engineer like me and we all have regular jobs. After we return from the office and on weekends, we spend most of our time on this cause. But to become more financially sustainable, we have started approaching organizations to make use of their CSR activities. That is a lucrative source that we are currently looking into.”But what is even more interesting is how Ramveer and his team involve villagers in cleaning the lakes in their localities. Whether it is by asking for labor or equipment, they ensure that the cleanliness and revival drives are not ‘by some outsider’. On average, the team extracts 500-1000 kg of plastic per hectare of land from each lake. While the plastic is sent for recycling after the revival, it demands the question as to why it landed there in the first place. Perhaps we need to rethink our garbage disposal methods, so it doesn’t directly harm the water bodies that benefit fishers and farmers. To ensure that their efforts are sustained after revival, fishers from the local communities are given the responsibility of the lake.
How Pond gets revived
Generally Pond is revived in following four Stages
- Visits, village meetings, Survey and making DPR.
- Shifting of Pond Water if required
- Earth Work Including Removing Solid Waste/Hyacinth/Sludge
- Construction of Filter &Digester Chamber
- Beautification Activity including Plantation & boards
- 6. Water Quality Management
- Regular Maintenance
Jal Chaupal is initiative of awaking the peoples about importance of water and various factors related to water scarcity in society. In Jal Chaupal we discuss topics like Ground Water Extraction, Water Pollution, rainwater harvesting, water budgeting, etc. Jal Chaupal has been proved the most important support tool to motivating the peoples to involve in pond restoration work.
We are trying to build an emotional connection between the villagers and water bodies. It will help them understand the importance of lakes and ponds and take initiative to save them.
“Water budgeting Water budgeting’ is essential for every village. It refers to the estimation of availability of water in the respective Gram Panchayat from different water sources (groundwater, surface water, and rainwater), and planning its use against the various purposes. Hence, Jal Chaupal helps villagers to understand the amount of water actually required by them, matching against the status of water availability. This has also helped in generating awareness about the importance of water conservation.