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Sharda University's 'Water for Life' campaign reaches Mumbai

Thursday, July 18, 2019

- Initiated by Philem Rohan Singh, a Post Graduate student from Sharda University pedals 2000+ kms from Kashmir to sensitize public on the looming water crisis

- The multi city social campaign will reach out to citizens across country to present India’s First Video Based Research Report on Water Related Issues, Findings and Solutions

Drinking water scarcity in Maharashtra has reached a crisis situation. The drinking water and sanitation department has registered a record 283% rise in tanker demand in the state. Nearly 10,506 hamlets and 4,920 villages, in six revenue divisions, are now parched. The numbers are expected to rise given the continuing heat wave, depletion of dam stocks and delay in the arrival of southwest monsoon.

Lack of access to clean drinking water is a serious issue in the country today and Sharda University’s ‘#WaterForLife’ Campaign is aimed at raising awareness around importance of water conservation and the impact of water crisis on communities across India. As a part of the campaign, Philem Rohan Singh a PG Student from Sharda University has embarked on a cycle journey starting from Kashmir and culminating at Kanyakumari. The focus of the campaign is to identify issues leading to scarcity of clean and safe drinking water and other water related issues affecting livestock, farming, businesses, livelihood and depleting groundwater level among others.

The campaign which was flagged off on 14th June from Srinagar has reached Mumbai - the 9th stop on its route, after covering around 2000 kms. Valuable insights gathered during the trip, will be further investigated by Rohan and his team. All the findings will be culminated into a documentary, which will be India’s first Video based research report on Water related issues, findings and solutions to be shared with the Government of India. The journey that was flagged off from Srinagar and has so far covered Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat and Rohan has now reached Maharashtra. He will cover 12 states through the journey that will culminate at Kanyakumari. In Mumbai, Rohan interacted with local people and inquired about water related problems the local people encounter on a daily basis.

Talking about his commitment and passion Rohan said, “Maharashtra is facing a water emergency situation of unprecedented proportions. With the weather department forecasting a delayed onset of monsoon, the state government has now deployed the highest ever number of water tankers — 6,597 as of June 10 — to meet the drinking water needs of parched regions. Also, the latest survey of the Groundwater Survey and Development Agency found that of Maharashtra’s 353 talukas, 279 have experienced depletion in ground water levels. While interacting with the local people from different states and inquiring about the water crisis they face daily, I found that in the face of an acute water shortage, some residents have scarcity of drinking water, others need to travel long distances to get drinkable water. In order to replenish the groundwater, rainwater harvesting is compulsory, and consumers should take concreate steps to check and correct their water-usage practices”.

Rohan will be cycling through 12 states including Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Bangalore and Kerala. The journey will also touch relevant locations like Ponda, Bicholim, Sanguem, Canaco, Bhatsa, Tulsi, Vihar, Middle Vaitarna, Modak Sagar, Tansa, Upper Vaitarna etc.

According to data from the Water Resources Department, the Amaravati division has 6.38% of its capacity compared to 11.67% in the corresponding period last year. In the Nagpur division, the availability is 5.68% as against 11.56% in 2018. The Nasik and the Pune divisions are left with 4.98% and 6.2% water respectively compared to 14.98% and 19.61% last year. With no rain, villages in most of the drought hit areas are still depending on tanker water for drinking.

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