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WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 5, 2003 - VOLUME 5 ISSUE NO 5 - WEST SIDE PLUS - COMPLIMENTARY TO THE READERS OF THE TIMES OF INDIA IN NAVI MUMBAI


WATER AT LAST!

SOCIAL ORGANISATION RIDS FOUR PARCHED PANVEL VILLAGES OF WATER SHORTAGE


BY K V KRISHNA RAJENDRA - PANVEL TALUKA



About 20 kms from Panvel nestle the remote hilly hamlets of Tarpatti, Kombaltekdi, Maldunge and Satyechiwadi. Though during the monsoons, months the few wells yield water, they run dry for the rest of the year. The women tread great distances, balancing pots atop their heads, to procure drinking water for their family. The idea of running water tapes and piped water remained a pipe dream to the neglected villagers here.

This dry dismal scenario faded out of sight after a formal inauguration marking the success of their "Water Project" on November 2nd set up about eight months back by the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation (SSSSO), Mumbai, a spiritual social service organisation. At each of the four villages, brand new red metal taps gushed out thick steady stream of water even as villagers looked on chanting ecstatic "Sai Rams" thank to the eight month long attruistic efforts of the enterprising Youth Wing members of the SSSSO, who have finally turned to reality the hitertho seemingly easier-said-than-done idea of providing round-the-clock piped water supply through taps at various water points. The water project will benefit about a thousand villagers.

Litesh Majethia, an active volunteer of the youth wing explains about the project. " Our Panvel unit of SSSSO has been engaged in various social service activities like free monthly medical check up of the villagers for the last few years and in course of our visits to the villagers, clued us on the severe water problem these areas faced. And so we decided to take a shot at providing piped water for these parched areas. Drawing from the previous success last year in a similiar schemes for other Navi Mumbai based dry villages like Dodhani, Khardi, Chafewadi etc, we took up the cudgels for providing potable water for the four hamlets," he said. A first round geological survey of Tarpatti, Kombaltekdi and Satyechiwadi showed a dearth of a water source at high altitudes until at the suggestion of a Nerul based geologists, they dug up a spot at Maldunge village below and hit upon a rich water table, which yielded water on digging as little as 30 feet at the first go. This well is now the main fountainhead that channels water through pipes to different water points fitted with taps in the four hamlets.

But that wasn't the end of all problems. Kombaltekdi, which is located at the highest altitude, appeared to require about two kilometre long pipeline, which seemed to get uneconomical. They finally got around the problem by giving the pipe the shortest possible route of just one kilometre. the organisation has built a 20,000 litre capacity storage tank at the Kombaltekdi village which will cater to the needs of the next door Satyechiwadi village town. Another one that could store 10000 litres is commissioned at Tarpatti which will take carte of the water needs of Maldunge. HDPE pipes used in the project have been provided by the Reliance group at a subsidised rate.

The project was a part of Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's programme of Grama Seva of selfless service to villages. The inauguration was followed by free medical check up and distribution of medicine to the villagers by the general physicians and doctors specialised in various fields.

Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, devoted to social service with a spiritual core, was found under the guidance and inspiration of spiritual leader Sri Sathya Sai Baba. From the first Sai Centre started in India in 1965, its numbers have today risen to around 19,600 centres and spread over 137 countries.

For more information about the activities if SSSSO, contact Sai Prem next to Balaji Temple, Sectore 10A, Vashi or call Nimish Pandya on Mobile No 98 200 83696.