India is home to 18% of the global population but has only 4% of usable water resources. The water crisis worsens further through distribution losses in the carriage of water and endemic pollution. The fear of drought looms large in the state of Maharashtra. More than 25% villages in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra suffer from water shortages and more than 50% of land is kept fallow due to lack of sufficient water. The problem is not just of scanty rainfall, but also of poor water management and lack of reservoirs. Water management becomes a challenge due to the soil and terrain of rural Maharashtra.
Looking at the perennial water scarcity in Maharashtra for the last 9 years, Finolex started working on water conservation projects since 2007. The company has spent over Rs. 1.2 Cr to implement 22 water schemes in Ratnagiri from 2008 till date. The villages benefitted include Kolambe, Golap, Phansop, Bhatye and Pawas. The support extended includes the digging of new wells, reviving old wells, electric pumps, supplying water through tankers to the villages in the months of April & May, setting up water filtration units, Syntex tanks etc.
Rainwater Harvesting at Punyadham, Pune District A rain water harvesting facility has been set up at the Punyadham Ashram through which water is being collected & used for various domestic uses. We are planning to do this at other institutes to ensure we use rain water efficiently. Rain water harvesting systems have been sent in schools in Masar, Gujarat.
Promoting the Bharat Swach Abhyan Mission, Finolex Industries & Mukul Madhav Foundation have taken up the initiative of regular cleaning of the Bhatye beach in Ratnagiri. A most popular tourist destination of the district, this beach attracts people from all walks of life and needs regular maintenance and Clean-up. One Sunday of each month is utilized by volunteers from Finolex Industries, who gather for the beach cleaning activity. Dustbins and banners have also been put-up at the beach.
Ensuring to look after the environment in the vicinity of the areas we operate, tree plantation drives have been undertaken around the schools of Panchgani, Mahableshwar, Ratnagiri in Maharashtraand Masar in Gujarat.Over 7000 saplings are planted annually.
Recently 1000 trees have been planted in Aundh Military Area, Pune by collaborating with Tree Public Foundation.
Over the last 4 years FIL has made a remarkable impact in Solapur, Sangli, Pune and Ratnagiri in the construction of CNB(Cement Nala Bands), desilting, creating reservoirs and equipping rain water harvesting in schools and institutions.
Apart from the above the need of pure drinking water in schools has created a platform for MMF / FIL to provide water filters and RO Systems to schools.
An appeal was received from the governor of Maharashtra to provide pipes to Wadgoan Anand village to bring water from the source to the destination. A bund has been evacuated to lay the pipe line which is 2km. This will service water requirements to 3000 nearby villages within the radius.
Finolex's new initiative is to support 2 major water conservation projects, in Pune and Solapur district, First is the desilting of Khadakwasala dam, a Public Private Partnership (PPP) where Finolex has joined hands with the government and other corporates namely Praj Foundation, Cummins, Tata Motors and others to sponsor 1 km each. This dam provides drinking water to a population of 45 lakhs and caters to the farming needs from Pune to Solapur (Baramati belt). It is important to note that in an over populated district such as Pune / Solapur the construction of a new dam wouldn't be feasible, therefore it is vital to carry out a regular desilting process and plant trees around existing water bodies.
The other water conservation project is desilting of 4.5km of 2nd phase of Bendh Nala Rejuvenation work with the Madha Welfare foundation, NAAM foundation and ZP Solapur at Solapur. This support will help resolve the water scarcity and shortages in 32 villages which is home to 22,000 individuals. This is the only project in Maharashtra where 32 villages came together for this noble cause. Over the next few years both these projects will benefit the growing population, agricultural needs of the community and the ecosystem.