Chandigarh, March 23 : Several water-related community infrastructure like tube wells, bore wells, ponds and percolation tanks, launched with the initiative of Vedanta Limited, are helping local communities access water for household and irrigation purposes in Punjab’s Bathinda district.
At the same time, the company follows the required norms, including zero liquid discharge, to ensure that there is no groundwater contamination due to its operations.
“By building our capacities in sustainable livelihood, these projects have helped in supporting and generating sustainable livelihood opportunities,” Ajaib Singh, a farmer living on the outskirts of Bathinda town, told IANS.
He said the region is facing a severe problem of water logging and resultant soil salinity, which makes agriculture a risky affair.
Another farmer, Nirmal Singh, said that he has several techniques for sowing cotton on the raised beds that significantly lower water demand as compared to direct sowing. Also, this technique helps to double the yield.
Located in the southern part of the state, Bathinda faces problems of water logging and salinisation.
Vedanta Limited claims that it has recycled 282.65 million cubic metres of water in the past four years. It has taken up 19 water-saving projects to reduce water consumption across its businesses.
Recycling and treatment of industrial wastewater has been a key focus area to achieve zero liquid discharge.
The company has incorporated efficient water usage practices, invested in state-of-the-art wastewater treatment plants and has completed water risk assessment of its entire operations.
The company’s drinking water and sanitation programmes are aimed at providing drinking water and purification systems to the local communities, and it has implemented the ‘WASH’ initiative to develop safe and healthy habits.
Farmers say the company has been helping them adopt drip-irrigation, treadle pump, solar powered water pumps and rainwater harvesting structures like percolation tanks to boost irrigation potential and reduce dependence on monsoons for crop yield.
The company has built several water-related community infrastructure to help the locals access water for household and irrigation purposes.
Sunil Duggal, Vedanta Group CEO and Chief Safety Officer, said, “Our approach to water management respects the rights over the use of water for all stakeholders, which in turn strengthens our social licence to operate. We have a long-term approach to water management that aims to improve our performance, recognise the significance of water and contribute to sustainable water management.”
The company has both a water management policy and a water management standard in place that integrate with decision-making processes for all new and existing projects.
Vedanta Limited’s subsidiary, Talwandi Sabo Power Limited (TSPL), is supporting farmers under its agriculture-based sustainable livelihood project, Navi Disha, which was initiated in 2017 with an outreach of farmers from 26 villages of Mansa and Bhatinda districts.