BABA: THE RESERVOIR OF GENEROSITY AND DRINKING WATER PROJECTS
A UNIQUE FEATURE OF THE Divine
Mission of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is massive humanitarian work which
has benefited millions of people in all parts of the world. As part of this
Mission, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust under the benign guidance of Bhagavan
established educational institutions and medical institutions and hospitals
for the service of mankind. As an extension of this, Bhagavan desired to
provide pure drinking water, which is important for the survival of mankind.
The emphasis was on providing pure drinking water to the needy poor, who
suffer due to chemical impurities in water such as excess fluoride.
Sri Sathya Sai Drinking Water Supply Project, Anantapur District
It is in this context that Bhagavan
Baba initiated a massive drinking water supply project in Anantapur district
in 1995. This is now known as Sri Sathya Sai Drinking Water Supply Project.
I feel blessed for having had the great privilege of being closely
associated with this project.
Sri Sathya Sai Drinking Water Supply Project started in March 1995 on war footing and became a reality when Bhagavan inaugurated the first phase of the project covering about 150 villages. The drinking water scheme to Anantapur town was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister on 18th November 1995 and pumping main to the Peddakotia - Puttaparthi line by the then President of India on 23rd November 1995 (70th Birthday of Bhagavan). The entire scheme was commissioned after stabilisation period and pure drinking water was supplied to about 730 villages from November 1996. By Bhagavan's grace, drinking water is now being supplied to all these places without any dislocation. The magnitude of the project can be gauged from the following figures: No. of villages covered 731, population benefited 9 lakh (ultimate design 12 lakh), project cost about 300 crore rupees, length of pipes 2500 km, overhead reservoirs 268, ground-level reservoirs 149, summer storage tanks 8, infiltration wells 20, booster stations 56, borewells 280.
Out of the 731 villages, 451 are
covered by comprehensive schemes and the balance 280 villages by individual
borewells as sources. Water is taken from assured sources like Tungabhadra
canals, Penna Ahobilam balancing reservoir, Chitravathi river and
infiltration wells in Penna and Hagari rivers.
Sri Sathya Sai Drinking Water Project for Mahaboobnagar and Medak Districts
After completion of the project taken up in Anantapur district, Bhagavan desired to provide drinking water to the people of two drought-stricken districts in Telangana region. The result is the implementation of drinking water projects in Mahaboobnagar and Medak districts at a total cost of about 60 crore rupees covering nearly 150 villages in Mahaboobnagar district and 179 villages in Medak district.
Sri Sathya Sai Ganga Canal Project for Chennai
During the year 2002, Bhagavan
announced that He would provide drinking water to Chennai, which had been
suffering from acute shortage of drinking water with continuous droughts.
The city's population is about 5 million now and the projected population
for the year 2021 is 6.75 million. The water supply is presently maintained
at about 250 mid (million litres per day) for the city. Various alternatives
to provide drinking water to Chennai were examined and it was finally
decided to facilitate provision of drinking water from Krishna river at a
cost of about 200 crore rupees by improving Telugu Ganga Canal.
Sri Sathya Sai Drinking Water Supply Project for East and West Godavari Districts
Bhagavan's mission to provide water to the poor continues and as a result, a major project covering about 500 habitations in tribal areas and uplands of East Godavari and West Godavari districts has been taken up at a cost of nearly 100 crore rupees.
The upland and backward areas of East Godavari, which are mainly inhabited by tribals and poor people, depend mostly on borewells and streams for their drinking water needs. The borewells are getting dry and water levels are going down year after year due to excessive usage of ground water. Further, the natural stream waters are bacterialogically unsafe and require treatment. Further, borewell water contains excess iron in some pockets.
It is proposed to provide drinking
water to about 220 habitations covering a population of about 2.30 lakh,
with provision for expansion for another 1 lakh population in East Godavari
district. In West Godavari district, it is proposed to provide
drinking water to its 220 habitations covering a population of 4.70 lakh.
The surface water will be filtered through treatment plants and supplied to
various habitations through pipelines. Two sources have been selected for
drinking water. One is the Godavari river and the second Pamuleru, which is
a tributary of Godavari and flows throughout the year.
Sourced: Sanathana Sarathi pgs 361 to 364 November, 2005