On 19th June, 2019,Chennai, the sixth-largest city in India, battled the worst water crisis in 30 years. A 55% rainfall deficit in 2018, followed by 200 days without rain, and an intense heatwave had dried the city almost completely. Chennai city officials declared 19th June, 2019, as ‘Day Zero’. Water levels in the four reservoirs that cater to the needs of 4.64 million people in the city had gone down below 1%. Additionally, the groundwater level had drastically dipped in the absence of rainfall making water a luxury in the city. The situation called for committed action that had to be timely, thought-through and driven towards easing the woes of the local community.
Chennai’s significant rainfall deficit had resulted in a drastic decline in the availability of drinking water in June 2019, and people in the city were being forced to buy water at hefty prices to quench their thirst. People were forced to travel to great lengths to get water for their daily needs.
Living up to its reputation of always rising up to a challenge and being inclusive and sustainable, Allcargo Logistics Ltd. led the way to solve this water crisis for the people of Chennai. Allcargo’s vision of water management is ahead of its time and in line with the ‘Jal Shakti Abhiyan', a term coined by the Indian government in the Budget session of 2019. As India embraces to battle uncertain rainfalls, Allcargo’s initiative in Chennai set a new benchmark for communities across the country. The company’s Chennai Container Freight Station (CFS) came up with just the right solution for the water crisis.
In June 2019, the Chennai CFS administration dug a borewell in the premises and connected it to their already existent RO plant. As a consequence, they were able to provide clean and safe drinking water to the locals. A water dispensing system was then set up outside the CFS where locals collected drinking water in pots and pans. Water collection in tankers and drums was strictly prohibited to ensure judicious and fair distribution of this precious resource. Besides this, Allcargo employees went door-to-door and informed the locals about the initiative, so that maximum number of affected citizens could be helped.
On an average, Allcargo made available 100,000 litres of pure drinking water to locals everyday. What’s more is that the purity of the water was significantly higher than what is normally available to the people of Chennai. The water supplied by Allcargo had a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) concentration of 70 mg/litre, while the water that is generally available has a TDS level of 710 mg/litre. A dedicated safety and maintenance set-up monitored the potability of the water at all times to ensure only pure water reached the people.
While the water woe of Chennai was resolved, it is highly probable that the city may run out of groundwater, sans a water management plan.To ensure that it does not happen, Allcargo has employed a large rainwater harvesting model. A total of 26 trenches across the 23 acres of the CFS premises ensure every drop of rainwater percolates into the ground and there is zero wastage. The water collects in the four harvesting pits which then help replenish the groundwater levels. With a significant recharge capacity of 5 million litres of water per annum, this effort will ensure there is always safe groundwater available for consumption for the people of Chennai.
For Allcargo, sustainability and community development have been core working principles that the company is based on. Helping out during the Chennai water crisis, was just one of the many ways in which Allcargo made a difference to the lives of people in Chennai. Sustainability is not just a word at Allcargo. With campaigns like ECU Greens and Allcargo Greens that encourage small steps to reduce waste and conserve resources, the company makes sure it’s employees walk the talk as well. In today’s times when communities and businesses navigate a world that’s Vulnerable, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous, it only makes sense to team up and form synergies. And Allcargo is ready to be the front runner in what the world needs today, brands with a heart.
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