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    Ambuja Cement Foundation collaborates with ATE Chandra Foundation to revive traditional water bodies in Maharashtra’s Chandrapur district

    Published on September 21, 2021

    ·         Initiative undertaken in Rajasthan’s Pali district as well

    ·         Focus on rejuvenation of traditional water bodies

    ·         166 million litres of additional water capacity to be expanded

    Mumbai: Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF), the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of Ambuja Cements Limited in collaboration with ATE Chandra Foundation has undertaken efforts to rejuvenate traditional water bodies in Maharashtra’s drought-prone Chandrapur district and Rajasthan’s Pali district.

    Fetah Niwas Check Dam Ras

    The desilting of community ponds in 50 villages of both districts will ensure in creation of 166 million litres of additional water storage capacities.

    The effort saw local community participation at an all-time high, right from selection of the water bodies to be rejuvenated, to monitoring the entire revival process. Additionally, 75 percent of the project cost is covered by the local communities with some of them bringing excavation machines and tractors to desilt the ponds and the silt being transported to nearby areas for various village development works.

    Cumulatively, 1,42,000 cubic metre of silt was removed in Rajasthan and 24,000 cubic metre of silt was removed from Chandrapur spanning 17 water bodies in 9 gram panchayats.

    Neeraj Akhoury, MD & CEO, Ambuja Cements Limited said, “For human life to sustain on planet earth, water is one of the most important requirements. At Ambuja Cements Limited, we place a significant emphasis in ensuring that rural communities have access to this precious resource. Such efforts in water-starved regions across India showcase our sustained efforts to support basic requirements of local communities.”

    While the desilting efforts have increased the water levels in 550 tube wells in the surrounding areas, the silt that has been excavated is believed to be highly beneficial for soil moisture and in improving crop productivity.

    Pearl Tiwari, Director & CEO, Ambuja Cement Foundation said, “ACF takes an innovative approach and uses traditional wisdom to conserve water and increase the water levels in the communities. Our work with ATE Chandra Foundation will create multiple impacts on farmer’s income and also ensure groundwater recharge.”

     Apart from ATE Chandra Foundation, other organizations like Caring Friends, Sajjan Industries and Avinash (Indira Foundation) have also collaborated to revive numerous ponds in Rabriyawas and Chandrapur.

    Megharam, Jaitaran Pradhan added, “ACF has been working on water conservation in our areas for the past 18 years. This joint partnership of like-minded organizations and community members has helped us see major impacts in the area and has benefited local communities as well.”

    From the early 2000s ACF has prioritized the repair and maintenance of already existing water structures instead of building new ones in water-starved regions. This approach is a financially prudent one as it avoids the cost associated with building new structures including land and labour. Continuous monitoring of such structures is also carried out to ensure that desilting and plugging of leakages are accomplished.

    Reviving traditional water harvesting systems can be an efficient way to manage water availability in rural India. By diligently working with like-minded partners and communities and creating people’s institutions to identify and repair defunct water structures, water security can be achieved for these rural communities in a sustainable manner.