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Potable water provided to 73 villages across Bangalore by  Gram Panchayat

Water filtration plant at Ramnagara and Vrishabhavathi River

By Swati Priyadarshini

Bangalore Sept 27: Gram Panchayats have sanctioned a contract to Toyota Kirloskar for water filtration in 73 villages across Bangalore.  Golahalli and Uragahalli Gram Panchayats now provide potable water at 10 paise per litre

“Obliging to the Corporate Social Responsibility regulation Toyota has invested in the project” according to the Panchayat Development Ofiicer of  Golahalli Panchayat. Under Companies Act 2013, any Company that has a net worth of Rs 500 crore or more has to spend at least 2% of last 3 years average net profits on Corporate Social Responsible Activities.

PDO Golahalli Gram Panchayat N Muichichkiah says, each filtration plant costs approximately Rs 10 lakh. The project has initiated the setup of filter plants in November 2015 and in 2016 they are setting up new filtration plants in Golahalli and Ramanagara. Earlier the water was distributed at Rs 5 for 20 litres, now it has been brought down to Rs 2 for 20 litres.

He added, a smart card is provided to all the residents of these rural areas which can be used to access the water dispenser at these filtration plants. Each filter plant has 1000 litre per hour capacity and a minimum 6-stage purification system.

Now, the B.S. Analytical and Testing Laboratory  is responsible for testing the water sample and inform  Toyota about any irregularities in the samples. Prajwala Karnataka Social Welfare Trust is in-charge for the maintenance of these water filter plants for next 15 years.

Pawan, a construction worker from Ramanagara said, “Panchayat has set up a filter 15 days ago and it provides potable water to 3-4 villages of the area. Untill now, we have been falling ill, drinking polluted water in the past. Now, we get 20 litres of water for Rs 5 and are very thankful to Gram Panchayat for this.”

As per a research paper by International Journal of Scientific and Engineering Research on contamination of Vrishabhavathi River, the river contains high levels of Lead, Mercury, Iron and Chromium and Nitrate in it. It says the water is not suitable for drinking and irrigation purposes. The pollutants present in the river leach out in soil and contaminate ground water sources. It has mercury levels 500 times higher than the permissible limit.

Convener of Environmental Informational System at Centre for Ecological Sciences Dr. T.V. Ramachandra Ph.D. Ecology said “Exposure to mercury and lead gives rise to lung problems. As the mercury levels are 500 times higher than permissible limit it would even affect the womb of mother-to-be if consumed.  The milk served and crop around the area show mercury, lead and metal dust all which are poisonous. Panchayats have taken a great initiative to set up these power plants. It is providing easy access to potable water to the rural population of Bangalore and saving them from serious health hazards.”

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