Mumbai: A Mumbaikar has given up his career to educate people about setting up rainwater harvesting systems in order to recharge groundwater and save rainwater for reuse.
40-year-old Subhajit Mukherjee, a social worker who came to be known for planting thousands of trees across Mumbai, started installing 'Rainwater Reserve Drums' system which is beneficial to save water and to increase groundwater table.
Taking inspiration from 'Jal Shakti Abhiyaan', Mukherjee took suggestions from the students of IIT Bombay and started a mission to create awareness about the need to increase underground water reserves.
"This is very frustrating that we have to spend money for something we get for free from nature. In Chennai, there is a water crisis and even in Mumbai, we did not get water. In this scenario, it is important that we do something about it. We always blamed others but we should understand our responsibility instead of looking at BMC," he told ANI.
"I am happy that we have a leadership which started Jal Shakti Abhiyaan. So, I left everything and started working only for water conservation," Mukherjee said.
The concept, which Mukherjee says he has not invented, is simple as it channels water that falls onto the terrace into a pit underground to conserve and revive groundwater.
The process starts with the digging of a 10x10 feet pit, which is covered with a drum which has holes around it to accumulate rainwater. In the next step, the drum is connected to the terrace using PVC pipes. As soon as the rainwater starts seeping into the ground, the groundwater table is recharged.
"When we are talking about rainwater harvesting, we have to ensure that it does not get wasted. To save water, the first way is the groundwater recharge. The easiest way is to dig a pit 10x10 feet and fill it with pebbles and stones. Through this, water will reach the land. There is an estimate that 6x6 feet pit helps to take 1,000 litres water into the land," he said.
Mukherjee said that people built concrete roads and tiles instead of grassland, which is the reason why the water could not able to reach the ground. He has set a target of a minimum of 50 schools where he will install the system to save water.
"I have a target to cover at least 50 schools to recharge groundwater with rainwater harvesting. I have installed 'Rain Water Reserve Drums' in 33 schools till now. When we go to schools and colleges, we teach around 500-1,000 students who will later take the idea further and implement it in their areas," Mukherjee said.
The environmentalist said that he had started a campaign 'Mission Green Mumbai' ten years back to increase the green cover across the state capital.
"We noticed that there is a scarcity of trees. We met with tree experts and asked suggestions where we have to plant trees. We have planted over 54,000 trees. We started a programme 'Each One Plant One'," he said.