One man’s vision is changing the landscape of Sainik Farm

Since its establishment in 1964 as a cooperative society to house defence staff and their families, the posh Sainik Farm in the Capital has long been in news for its unauthorised structures. A man, however, is changing the talking point about the colony by gradually turning it into an eco-friendly, self-sustaining society.

Ramesh Dugar, 53, convener of the Residents Welfare Society, who moved to the area in 1994, has since been collecting funds from residents to save the thick green cover in the locality, which is flanked by protected forests, including the Tilpath Valley. The businessman who studied chartered accountancy even set up the Area Development Committee to undertake these green initiatives.

As part of Dugar’s initiative, residents of a colony with over 2,200 houses have had 74 km of road paved with grass-pavers. These bricks allow seepage of rainwater, preventing the soil from getting dry. They are also in the process of installing solar panels on every rooftop and are all set to develop their own eco-sewage system.

As per the plan, sewage from the colony will be diverted into a drain in the vicinity. This water will then be treated with microbes, and the treated water will be used to support the area’s green cover. The RWA has tied up with the government for the project.

“We are a bunch of nature lovers living here. The sewage plan aims to scientifically deal with the human excreta and treat the waste water for reuse. We will connect all houses in the area to a main sewage line and install a decentralised water treatment system. The waste water will be biologically treated using the Eco Bio Block technology. The technology is being successfully used in other parts of the globe, including Japan and Canada,” Dugar said.

The technology is effective in cleaning polluted water, including sewage and industrial waste. The treated water is safe enough to be let out in any major water system for horticultural or agricultural use. The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and the Ministry of Urban Development have already approved the proposal but Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s nod is pending.

“All the initiatives being taken have been funded by residents. Initially, they were reluctant to contribute, but when they saw things actually taking shape and benefiting them, they came forward for all the projects,” Dugar said.

The RWA has also set up 67 rain water harvesting pits in the area, aimed at saving every drop of water and recharge the ground water table.

“The water table in the area has risen considerably over the last two years. We save and utilise rain water to recharge ground water. The government had set up 15 borewells in the area, all of which draw enough water now,” he said.

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