After waiting for 17 years when Rajuri Steel Private Ltd’s steel rolling factory in Jalna still did not get any piped water, it decided to invest Rs1.25 crore to construct its own small dam.
Managing director DB Soni, who spearheaded the initiative, said: “We have about 100 acres of land close to the factory. We assigned a feasibility study in 2006, which showed that a dam could be constructed. By 2008, our dam was ready for use.”
Deficient rainfall did not overflow the dam this year, but it did recharge the well that caters to the mill that processes 500 tonnes of steel every day.
Soni is not sure whether the well would have enough water till summer or dry up before that but for now their problems are at bay.
Soni rued government’s apathy but hailed the entrepreneur spirit for surviving hard times and making things work without much government support. “They once said ‘Jalna sone ka palna’ (Jalna, a city of gold) but we unable to live up to that reputation any longer.”
Soni added that his family’s agro processing units too were doing very badly because of failed crops this season.
Soni and his eight partners are so disappointed with the state of affairs that they have decided not to involve their children in the age-old family business. “We want our children to do something else,” said Soni.
State to curb corruption in water supply by tankers in drought-hit areas
In an attempt to curb corruption in the water supply system through tankers in drought-hit areas, the state cabinet has decided to install water tanks in which tankers will be emptied.
This would help district administration keep a check on the actual supply of water, and save water that is lost through percolation and evaporation.The government had observed that in many cases the tanker companies were siphoning off money by charging for a full tanker but emptying only half of it in wells in villages. Also, emptying water directly into wells causes pollution apart from wastage due to evaporation and percolation. The cabinet, on Wednesday, decided to appeal to private financial institutions at the tehsil and village level to donate water tanks. The cabinet also decided to let MLAs spend up to 80% of their local area funds for drought relief. HTC, Mumbai