MANGALURU: Padma Shri awardee Girish Bharadwaj from Karnatka’s Sullia city may have built more than 125 cost-effective suspension bridges, but Bharadwaj, popularly known as Sethu Bandhu has now become a role model for water conservation.
The man, who provided connectivity to several remote villages in the nation after simplifying technology of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and Japan’s Akashi Kaikyo, drew inspiration from Shree Padre, also known as rainwater man.
Girish Bharadwaj told TOI, “I started diverting the rooftop water about three years ago and we are already noticing the impact. There is an increase in the groundwater table, “ he said.
Bharadwaj has placed a six-inch PVC pipe to channelise the rooftop water from his house, car shed and cow shed located in Kerpala village in Sullia and has directed it to an open well.
He further plans to recharge a borewell.
“We are able to collect approximately 4-5 lakh litre water annually. We are yet to conduct a scientific study on the increase in groundwater table in the area. But we are confident that this is benefiting several houses located around,” Bhardwaj said.
Expressing joy that a stalwart like Girish Bharadwaj is silently working towards water conservation, Shree Padre said, directing roof water to an open well or even a tank is the most effective method of rainwater harvesting.
“There are several simple do it yourself (DIY) techniques for rainwater harvesting and installation of a filter will only ensure safe water. There is no doubt that we have contributed to the decline of the water table and a simple step, especially in an era of climate change can do wonders,” Shree Padre said.