Koi bhi desh perfect nahi hota. There are a lot of civic problems around us. What’s easy is to click a few pictures of the problem, post it on social media, take a back seat and play the blame game. But what’s difficult is to approach the concerned authority, discuss the solution, get it solved, or solve the problem yourself if it is within your capacity.
Water wastage and water scarcity are one such problem. It was observed that many government public taps that supply drinking water or bore well water to the citizens have continuous leakage and minor repairs or replacement would save water to a large extent.
Looking at the acute water scarcity in the past years, Sanket Mehta an entrepreneur from Belagavi decided to replace such leaking taps in the city. As these taps are government property, permission was sought from the concerned department. Sanket is a manufacturer of water tanks that had contacts with many plumbers. A few plumbers were selected and sent throughout the city to find out leaking taps.
However Sanket wanted active participation of the citizens too in this initiative, hence a helpline number was provided where citizens can call and report any water leakage around them. The initiative was named ‘STOP THE DROP’ and started in March 2021.
Awareness of the initiative was done through newspapers, social media, and FM radio. From Kakati to Majgaon, from Airport Road to Waghwade, people started reporting water leakages from all parts of the city.
Broken taps were replaced with new brass taps, open pipes were fitted with taps; damaged pipeline or rusted valves were replaced with new APVC parts and places, where excess taps were not needed, were closed with stop plugs. After carrying out the repair, citizens around the spot were explained the importance of water conservation.
Some complaints were within the capacity and some major leakages that needed underground digging and permissions to excavate were forwarded to the water supply department with regular follow-up. Example: the major water leakage opposite IMER College.
The helpline received total 62 calls from multiple locations and repairs were carried out at 41 locations with almost 120 new brass taps being fitted. Some repairs required just 20 rupees and some major repairs did cost around Rs 2500. Some repairs stopped few hundred litres of leaking water and some repairs saved thousands of litres. The repair expenses were borne by ‘Mehta Water Tanks’ owned by Sanket. Execution and supervision of the initiative was done by Er Mandar Kolhapure along with the team of plumbers.
Likewise, if we as a responsible citizen or a responsible corporate company can adopt some of the civic problems and share responsibilities, it would be a great contribution towards nation building and an opportunity to serve our country and countrymen. As rightly said in Rang De Basanti, “Koi bhi desh perfect nahi hota, usse perfect banana padta hai”