Oval Maidan all set to harvest a green top
Trust Opts For Rs 7.5-Lakh Project That Will Supply 5,000-10,000 Litres Of Water Per Hr
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Mumbai: Could the dusty Oval Maidan be so well irrigated that there could be enough water to start a water park there? It sounds like an extravagant promise. But consultant Nandan Mungekar, appointed by the Oval Trust to install a rainwater harvesting system in the 22-acre maidan, is quite serious.
The Rs 7.5-lakh plan, funded by a corporate donor, will see four soak pits made in the maidan to draw rainwater into the underground water table. The existing storm water drains which channel rain water towards the sea will now be modified to keep the water in the maidan’s underground water table. This will create a natural sweet water buffer to drive brackish water back towards the sea at the western edge of the maidan.
The system means that, after the monsoon, each of the four ring wells that are currently being inserted into the maidan will be able to produce between 5,000-10,000 litres of water per hour that will be circulated in the existing pipes and used to keep the maidan green.
“We did have a borewell installed three years ago, but it didn’t yield enough sweet water, and the water from it had sand in it,’’ says Nayana Kathpalia, a trustee. Since the area faces water shortages (residents get water for around two hours per day), creating a natural water reservoir was the best solution, Kathpalia adds. “Even though the trust was paying for it, using potable municipal water to irrigate a maidan didn’t seem right. This will work out much better.’’
The work is expected to be finished, with all the wells, pits and drains unobtrusively covered up, by the end of this month: well in time for the approaching monsoon. Mungekar promises that the brief inconvenience for maidan cricketers will be worthwhile. “At the moment, anyone who tries to dive for the ball on the maidan will probably break a limb,’’ he says. “But once the water harvesting is underway, I want it to be so lush that players can comfortably dive on it.’’
Although former Mumbai Cricket Association secretary Nadeem Memon worries the system could prove expensive to maintain, Nari Contractor, a former Indian cricket captain and a veteran of matches on the Oval says, “If this makes the maidan greener then everyone will be very happy.’’