Category Archives: Rashneh Pardiwala

News from Rashneh Pardiwala: rainwater harvesting in Mumbai

A few days ago Rashneh emailed: “Glad to inform you that CERE has successfully completed one of the largest RWH systems within Mumbai city for Mumbai Police at their Armed Headquarters at Naigaon. The Commissioner of Police inaugurated the project on 3 Oct 2017”.

Mumbai Police Commissioner Dattatray Padsalgikar inaugurating the rainwater harvesting system last week

Anurag Kamble reported in the Midday newspaper that the police precinct houses 2,335 families of the constabulary, a municipal school and a police hospital. It also serves as a base for three battalions and many special units. There are three large training grounds and national level sportspersons practising at the hockey maidan. Despite this, for the past 15 years, the locality has been receiving less than 15 minutes of municipal water supply each day.

“Every summer, delegations of cops’ families come to us begging for a solution. Also, whenever training camps were held, which happens at regular intervals, we had to arrange for water tankers, as we never had enough drinking water,” said Additional Commissioner (Armed Police) Aswati Dorje. “And, during the monsoon, the ground would get completely waterlogged. We wanted to fix all these problems permanently”.

Then the Centre for Environmental Research and Education (CERE) came to their rescue, suggesting a solution. “For the past three years, we were working with the Mumbai police to plant 500 native trees in Naigaon, under the Urban Afforestation Project. During one of those visits, we learnt about the acute water shortage and flooding problem in the area. We asked the administration if we could do rainwater harvesting here, and after a survey, gave them a presentation. We received the go-ahead immediately,” said Dr Rashneh Pardiwala, founder and director of CERE. “We got approval in March and literally worked day and night for three-and-a-half months to get the system up and running”.

Dr Rashneh Pardiwala, founder director of CERE, shows where the rainwater harvesting project was installed in Naigaon. Pic/Bipin Kokate

Phase 2: to create a natural reed bed system to treat waste water:

A long-term solution to water scarcity is to recycle grey water from the kitchen. This project component involves treating a part of the grey water from the police residential colonies through an effective and natural Reed Bed System and using the clean treated water to maintain the open grounds. Therefore, this intervention will help

(a) conserve potable water for watering open grounds,

(b) recharge the ground water table, and

(c) reduce wastage of water.

CERE is currently looking for funding for this phase of the project.

Highly recommended: a video about the detail of the project which may be accessed here: http://cere-india.org/rwh-with-the-mumbai-police/

 

 

 

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News from Rashneh and Katy in Mumbai

Rashneh Pardiwala (below left), Katy Rustom and the CERE team  write:

rashneh5jpgkaty-5This is wonderful news that Andrew would like to develop a biodiversity park. Also we read about the amazing work the Stroud Community is doing in agriculture”.

(Andrew is beginning to make a forest/biodiverse garden in a Bordesley park. Molly Scott Cato helped to set up a very successful community supported agriculture scheme).

Rashneh and Katy continue: “Please do let us know if there is anything we can do to help. All the material on our Biodiversity Garden is on this portal: www.spbiodiversitygardens.com 

The Native Biodiversity Garden is spread over one acre of land at the edge of Teenvira Dam, in the coastal town of Alibaug, Maharashtra. The website tells us:

“This garden is an earnest attempt to conserve nature, attract native species of flora and fauna back into our ecosystems and most importantly, serve as a Learning Resource Centre for students, teachers, parents and all visitors . . .

“This garden showcases the beauty and wonder of native plant species. These plants form a vital component of our ecosystems by providing habitats for insects, birds, amphibians and mammals, being an important source of food and medicines and providing ecosystem services such as air purification and preventing soil erosion.

“This is an eco-friendly and sustainable garden, and visitors are requested to enjoy it with care. It is powered by solar energy with the aim to promote the use of renewable energy and uses drip irrigation to ensure water conservation. Pathways have been designed to facilitate wheelchair access.

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“The garden has 17 different thematic sections namely sensory, medicinal, butterfly, wetland or pond ecosystem, grasses, ficus, orchids, ferns, bamboo, palms, spices, kitchen, vertical, adaptation, celebration and a sacred grove. Most importantly, there is a special section on the Western Ghat species since Raigad District falls within this Biodiversity Hotspot where many species are on the verge of extinction. The garden plays host to over 500 native species of plants, some of which are extremely rare and unique with saplings having been procured from across India . . .

“The project commenced in April 2015 and in a brief span of 9 months, a barren plot of land was converted into a lush green garden with the plantation of over 45,000 saplings across 500+ native species.

This twelve minute film documents the transformation”.

Environmental news from networkers involved with CERE, FEASTA and LOCAL FUTURES

Rashneh, Helena and Richard all met in 2000 at a gathering we held near Bromsgrove.

rashneh csr video

rashneh csr2 logoToday we received a link to a video which we heartily recommend. In it,  networker Rashneh Pardiwala, co-founder of CERE, was interviewed by Pooja Damadia of CSR Journal which seeks to publicise news of good corporate practice. It may be seen here http://thecsrjournal.in/it-is-better-to-abide-by-the-laws-than-trying-ways-to-circumvent-them-dr-rashneh-pardiwala-cere/.

One telling point made was that urban areas benefited from electricity generated in rural Dahanu, whereas Dahanu itself, ironically, is subject to frequent power cuts.

caroline 2 feasta

rashneh feasta coverCaroline Whyte now links us with the work of our networker, the late Richard Douthwaite, co-founder of FEASTA, whose books included The Growth Illusion and recently we received the information-packed annual report for 2014 & 2015. There is even more on their website: http://www.feasta.org/.

The material on fracking, climate change, basic income and monetary reform will be of interest to many outside our network and will be recommended to them. There was reference to the work on biochar which many visitors continue to discover on this website linked with the name of James Bruges. See http://www.feasta.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/2014-15_annual_report_feasta.pdf

rashneh helena

Finally we recommend Helena Norberg-Hodge’s truly excellent TedX talk on localisation. See also the website of Local Futures.

Both video presentations prompt the wish for all New Era networkers to present their case in this way and make it available on Youtube. Does anyone know what costs are involved?