November 29, 2004

Inspiration for the day

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P.R.Govindan, Executive Engineer, Physical Plan Directorate, Kerala Agricultural University, Vellayanikkara, Thrissur

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A drop of water saved is equivalent to a drop produced.  When this principle was applied rigorously to the Rs.4 lakh per month water bill of Kerala Agricultural University, the results were quite dramatic.  After plugging many loopholes, the University has come up with a water bill of Rs.102 per month except during summer.

This dramatic reduction is the result of a civil engineer’s initiative.  After P.R.Govindan took over charge as Executive Engineer in the Physical Plan Directorate of the Varsity, his first action was to convert the decrepit pond by the Vellayanikkara campus entrance into a reservoir.  With the support of the authorities, the pond was deepened to 4 m, thus converting the 1˝-acre pond into a fairly large reservoir. 

In the next stage, steps were taken to plug the leaks in large underground tank and 4 large tanks that stored Kerala Water Authority supplied water.  Govindan’s assessment showed that the daily loss due to leakage from the system was 5 lakh litres.  The accounts wing immediately calculated that the yearly loss to the varsity was to the tune of Rs.20 lakhs per annum.  Plugging this leak was the next priority and that saved quite a lot of litres and rupees.

The next place of action was the staff quarters.  By replacing defective meters and pipes and by placing a 1000 litre tank on top of each household, even the pumping time was reduced, not to speak of the drastic reduction of water consumption from 7 lakh litres to 1 lakh per day.

At Mannuthy campus, the pond by the side of main pump house was renovated and a 4m deep, 5 m diameter well dug in the middle of it to make the campus self-reliant in water.

At the end of all these exercises, the recurring water bill of the University has come down from a 6 digit figure to a 3 digit figure - something about which Govindan can be legitimately proud.





Courtesy: Saji Mulanthuruthy, Malayala Manorama, November 16, 2004

Contributed by: Administrator


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