BHU south campus becomes self-reliant in water needs, develops its own management, supply system

Varanasi:

Banaras Hindu University’s (BHU) Rajiv Gandhi south campus at Barkachha in Mirzapur district of Uttar Pradesh has become completely AatmaNirbhar, or self-reliant, for its needs and requirements of water. 

The south campus of BHU, situated in Barkachha in Mirzapur, is considered to be an economically backward district of Uttar Pradesh, finding ways to develop water management system and most importantly for arranging water was the topmost priority. 

“Despite all odds, the South Campus of BHU is leading by example and the nearly 2,700 acre campus has become self-reliant for its water needs, probably the first and the only such campus in the country… The campus has developed its own water management and supply system. It also constructed rain water harvesting structures to meet water needs of agriculture and cattle,” Prof. V. K. Mishra, Professor In-Charge, South Campus, BHU said.   

Mishra further said Mirzapur has only 40 per cent cultivable land with no assured irrigation facility. Farmers there have to remain contented with specific dryland/ rain fed crops. “Erratic rainfall distribution, extensive erosion, soil degradation, nutrient depletion and submergence of cultivable area are the challenges those involved in agricultural activities face. The soil here (in Mirzapur) is of lower depth, fertility and organic matter status, which limit its nutrient and water holding capacity,” he added.

The Professor In-charge, South Campus, BHU, said there are a total of nine check dams, two runoff water collection ponds and three wells in the campus to store rainwater. “Each of the check dams can hold water up to 2 lakh litres. The water from the check dams is used for irrigating the agricultural fields in the campus. At present around 40 hectare of land is being cultivated using the water collected in the check dams,” Mishra said.

He further said the check dams are also used for fish farming. Besides, there is one large farm pond having a water storage area 100 m x 100 m with an average depth of 3-4 m and two runoff water collection bandhi. “These bandhi and pond store water for short period from July to December for irrigation,” Mishra said.

To meet the daily needs of drinking water for South Campus, Mishra said surface water is pumped from Lower Khajuri dam in Barkachha. The dam is around 2.5 km from the campus for which the University has laid a pipeline. At the dam, the university has constructed a pumping station. The water is pumped into the filtration unit built in the Campus. As part of this exercise about 12-13 lakh litre water is being pumped which is then filtered and treated for drinking. 

“The water is stored in two collection tanks of 5 lakh litre capacity each. From the filtration unit a raw water pipeline has been laid to the Faculty of Veterinary and Animal Sciences to maintain cattle and other animal shelters,” he said.

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