Volkswagen helps parched Pune village (June 5 is World Environment Day)

Pune, June 5 (IANS) A parched village in Pune district’s Khed region will get a helping hand in augmenting its water resources from German automobile giant Volkswagen, an official said here Wednesday.

The initiative taken up by Volkswagen India Pvt. Ltd., following a call by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to corporate houses to help combat the severe water scarcity situation in several parts of Maharashtra, is expected to make the area self-sufficient in water, increasing resources by about 13 times.

On the eve of World Environment Day Tuesday, Volkswagen performed the ground-breaking ceremony to deepen, widen and lengthen the main water channel in Gulani village, Khed region, which has been declared drought-hit. The village is about 200 km from the state capital, and a Volkswagen plant is located 30 km from it, at Chakan.

With this effort, water storage capacity is expected to shoot up by over 13 times from 3,373 cm to over 45,000 cm within five weeks, a company official said, and water through this could be used for both drinking and agricultural purposes.

Gulani, with a population of over 3,000, has more than 65 acres of land under cultivation and 3,375 cubic metres of storage capacity for domestic and agriculture uses.

After the VIPL project is completed, the increased storage capacity would allow 1,200 acres of extra land to come under cultivation.

The existing water channel is only 0.25 metre deep, nine metres wide and 1.50 km long, which will now be increased to two metres deep, 15 metres wide and two-km-long within the next five weeks.

The government has declared 18 villages in Khed region of Pune drought-hit and urged local corporate houses to join the state’s efforts to provide succour to the people in the affected areas.

“As a socially responsible corporate, Volkswagen establishments globally follow a tradition to support social projects in the neighbouring regions of its production facilities,” VIPL president and MD Mahesh Kodumudi said.

He said that in Maharashtra, where water conservation is a major concern, conservation of fresh water is the need of the hour. VIPL’s project would help Gulani village by capturing and conserving rainwater for round-the-year consumption, he said.

Based in Chakan, Pune, Volkswagen Group is represented by five prestigious brands of vehicles in India: Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche, Skoda and Volkswagen.

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