100 Water Heroes: Shirish Apte

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Superintendent Engineer at Maharashtra Water Resources Department

Shirish Apte is the Superintendent Engineer at the Maharashtra Water Resources Department and is responsible for rejuvenating neglected water tanks in Bhandara. After being posted in Bhandara to complete a World Bank project by 2013, Shirish took the opportunity to repair and restore the 300-year-old Malgujar tanks that "were once a major water source for the district, but due to neglect, water levels had fallen” (Tare, 2017).

These Malgujar tanks were originally created by the Mulguzaars, who were “local Zamindars in eastern Vidarbha about two centuries ago and had constructed several tanks for water harvesting and irrigation” (Singh, 2017). They built and used these tanks until the 1950s, after which the government gained ownership of the tanks and charged a water tax, resulting in their abandonment.

Although over 1000 water tanks had been neglected for years, Shirish came on board in 2008 and restored some of the first tanks in over 2 years. This resulted in “recharged groundwater levels and increased agricultural output and fish production in the area,” and also nudged the district administration to restore a further 21 tanks in the area

Shirish has successfully initiated and encouraged the restoration of numerous traditional water tanks throughout Bhandara, making him one of our #100WaterHeroes

Read More: https://www.thebetterindia.com/9687/one-man-rejuvenated-traditional-water-system-maharashtra/