Sambalpur: Water shortage is a perennial issue in areas under Rengali block in Sambalpur district. Water crunch has posed a grave threat to the agricultural economy of the area, given the erratic rainfall. To provide relief, Aditya Aluminium, an Aditya Birla Group company has come forward to restore water bodies and conserve runoff water, rainwater and wastewater in the township and villages under the block. This will benefit the ecosystem and the farmers in a go. Unit head of Aditya Aluminium, Sameer Nayak says, “Our teams have been working relentlessly to contribute towards biodiversity management. The result is reflected in the Aditya Township which has a vibrant flora and fauna. We have developed a rainwater harvesting pond with 60,000 cubic metre capacity in the township.
Over 1,80,576 cubic metre capacity rainwater harvesting structures have been renovated/constructed in the last five years.” “Besides, we have developed more than 50 ponds for the benefit of the community. This has helped 178 farmers who can now cultivate 352 acres of land and grow multiple crops. The irrigation facility provided by the government and facilitated by Aditya Aluminium has augmented the local farmers’ income manifold from Rs 11,000 in the year 2013-14 to Rs 50,000- Rs 1 lakh per annum now.
In Dhorropani, over 50 acre of land is cultivated by using water from these ponds. This apart, we have partnered with the government to dig and renovate 5 of the 9 Amrit Sarovars (ponds) allocated to Rengali block as part of the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebration,” Nayak added. Sriram Padhan, a progressive farmer from Dhorropani village, has been growing multiple crops over many years with Aditya Aluminium’s proactive interventions, such as capacity building, implementation of best agriculture practices, agri-input, drip irrigation and ensuring insurance. He draws water from the ponds that have been dug by Aditya Aluminium. Pradhan now earns over Rs 1.5 lakh annually.