Anarcho-environmentalism allegorised

The name Anaarkali in the present context has many meanings - Anaar symbolises the anarchism of the Bhils and kali which means flower bud in Hindi stands for their traditional environmentalism. Anaar in Hindi can also mean the fruit pomegranate which is said to be a panacea for many ills as in the Hindi idiom - "Ek anar sou bimar - One pomegranate for a hundred ill people"! - which describes a situation in which there is only one remedy available for giving to a hundred ill people and so the problem is who to give it to. Thus this name indicates that anarcho-environmentalism is the only cure for the many diseases of modern development! Similarly kali can also imply a budding anarcho-environmentalist movement. Finally according to a legend that is considered to be apocryphal by historians Anarkali was the lover of Prince Salim who was later to become the Mughal emperor Jehangir. Emperor Akbar did not approve of this romance of his son and ordered Anarkali to be bricked in alive into a wall in Lahore in Pakistan but she escaped. Allegorically this means that anarcho-environmentalists can succeed in bringing about the escape of humankind from the self-destructive love of modern development that it is enamoured of at the moment and they will do this by simultaneously supporting women's struggles for their rights.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Artificial Water Recharge in Indore

The normal annual rainfall in Indore is 900 mm but this year it has been only 550 mm. Consequently a hue and cry has started over the severe water crisis that is bound to take place from March onwards. Normally the press in search of stories is the first to latch on to a crisis. In this case too this has happened. Looking around for solutions the press reporters in Indore did a net search and hit on my video on the simple and cheap artificial water recharging and energy saving systems that we have installed in our house here in Indore. These press reporters then contacted me and came to our house to see what we have done and then written about it in their dailies extolling our systems as being the need of the hour.
In one of the dailies my photograph was also published and I was touted as being a water management expert. This led a whole host of people including many of our neighbours to congratulate me. However, none of these people felt inspired by all this to emulate what we had done in our house and especially our neighbours are still engaged in drawing water from the ground without returning anything to it. This just added to my cynicism.
However, today a few students from the university came down to our house to see our systems. They too had learnt about our efforts by doing a net search. They said that they wanted to do something to solve the serious water crisis that was looming and so had come for some guidance. I told them that the solution was to undertake a massive artificial recharge programme. Given the fact that in an urban environment 90% of the rainwater runs off and 90% of the potable water supplied to homes is converted into waste water it is eminently possible to recharge both of these through appropriate means. In fact when a similar drought situation had occurred in 2000 Indore had pioneered several measures in rainwater harvesting and water recharging that became the talk of the whole nation. The Indore municipal corporation even went to the extent of creating a separate department for this and introduced a 6% rebate on property tax for those installing water recharge systems in their homes.
The Central Groundwater Board of the Government of India has come up with a Master Plan on Artificial Recharge, A Manual on Artificial Recharge and a Rainwater Harvesting Guide which are all downloadable. Thus there is enough material available for anyone interested to be able to implement rain water harvesting and artificial recharge. But there is not enough political will to push this and so Indore is still dependent on very expensive and environmentally unsustainable pumping of water up from the River Narmada all of seventy kilometers away.


lamp post said...

Rainwater Harvesting has been made compulsory for new housing societies in delhi now.

Rahul Banerjee said...

the problem is that like other rules the one regarding rainwater harvesting is also cavalierly flouted. no one takes these rules seriously. it is possible to come up with a much cheaper water management plan for cities based on decentralised water recharging and harvesting but there seems to be a woeful lack of will in this regard

Gill said...

But I heard that the artificial water producing system is too costly for middle class people. I think the price of such useful products must be lowered so the all the people can benefit from the system. Thanks for posting useful information about artificial water producing system.

Rahul Banerjee said...

water recharging is quite cheap and can be accomplished at a cost of Rs 100 per square meter of built up area. So a normal middle class house with a roof area of around 100 sq meters will require only Rs 10000 to install a water recharging system. however water harvesting in which the water collected from the roof is to be stored in an underground reservoir for later use instead of being recharged into the ground is more expensive. The cost depends on the underlying soil conditions and can vary from around Rs 250 to Rs 350 per square meter of roof area. However this extra cost is soon recovered as the water stored saves on water bills.