BALCO restores 21 community water structures in FY 2023
Balconagar; 1st April 2023: Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO), India’s iconic aluminium producer and a subsidiary of Vedanta Aluminium, took another step towards creating a sustainable water footprint by restoring 21 community water structures around its vicinity in FY 2023. This initiative was carried out under BALCO’s ‘Mor Jal, Mor Maati’ project which aims at benefitting farmers by edifying them on modern agricultural techniques and supporting them with resources and technical knowledge to enhance their crop yield.
Water management is one of the major components of this project alongside sustainable agriculture, animal husbandry, fish farming, promotion of non-timber forest produce and lac cultivation. BALCO has been working with local farming communities to strengthen round-the-year irrigation by creating water infrastructure such as shallow bore wells (solar-operated), dug wells, farm ponds, community ponds, check dams and more under this initiative. The company sensitizes farmers regarding water-efficient agriculture through the adoption of techniques such as electric and diesel pumps, Micro Irrigation System (MIS) sprinkler units and Drip-Irrigation Systems, and solar-powered water pumps.
Speaking about BALCO’s commitment to water sustainability in the region, Mr. Rajesh Kumar, CEO and Director, BALCO, said, “Water is a precious natural resource that we share with our local communities and biodiversity. And hence, we are committed to ensuring water security in the region by maximizing our water efficiency, creating water harvesting structures in the community and working with local farmers to make agriculture climate resilient. At BALCO, our priority is to ensure efficient use of water through modern technologies and work on avenues to give back more water than is consumed for creating a sustainable water footprint.”
Over the past decade, BALCO has created over 150 water structures in the community with a total capacity of more than 125 million liters, which continue to benefit farmers in 32 neighboring villages by enabling them to harvest more than one crop in a year. These structures have contributed to increasing the soil moisture content and maintaining groundwater levels, thereby positively impacting the natural ecosystem and biodiversity in the region. The company aims to achieve net water positivity by FY 2030.
Currently, the Mor Jal Mor Maati project reaches out to over 2,400 farmers, covering more than 1,400 acres of land in 32 villages. More than 70% farmers have adopted modern agriculture techniques under this project and are engaged in livelihood enhancement activities such as, System of Rice Intensification (SRI), trellis, organic farming, climate resilient cropping, vegetable & wheat cultivation, etc. Around 15% of the farmers are engaged in livelihood diversification activities like animal husbandry, horticulture & non-timber forest produce. The project intervention has led to an increase in their average annual income along with an increase in production by almost 50% and a reduction in input costs by 40%.
Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO) is India’s iconic aluminium producer. It is owned 49% by the Government of India and 51% by Vedanta Limited. BALCO is part of Vedanta’s Aluminium Business, a division of Vedanta Limited, which is India’s largest manufacturer of aluminium. BALCO operates a 0.57 million tonne per annum aluminium smelter in Korba, Chhattisgarh. It is also a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. With its world-class smelter and power plants, the company fulfills its mission of spurring emerging applications of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow.
About Vedanta Limited
Vedanta Limited, a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources Limited, is one of the world’s leading Oil & Gas and Metals company with significant operations in Oil & Gas, Zinc, Lead, Silver, Copper, Iron Ore, Steel, and Aluminium & Power across India, South Africa, Namibia, and Australia. For two decades, Vedanta has been contributing significantly to nation building. Governance and sustainable development are at the core of Vedanta's strategy, with a strong focus on health, safety, and environment. Giving back is in the DNA of Vedanta, which is focused on enhancing the lives of local communities. Under the aegis of Vedanta Cares, the flagship social impact program, Nand Ghars have been set up as model anganwadis focused on eradicating child malnutrition, providing education, healthcare, and empowering women with skill development. Vedanta and its group companies have been featured in Dow Jones Sustainability Index 2020, and were conferred Frost & Sullivan Sustainability Awards 2020, CII Environmental Best Practices Award 2020, CSR Health Impact Award 2020, CII National Award 2020 for Excellence in Water Management, CII Digital Transformation Award 2020, ICSI National Award 2020 for excellence in Corporate Governance, People First HR Excellence Award 2020, ‘Company with Great Managers 2020’ by People Business and certified as a Great Place to Work 2021. Vedanta’s flagship Nand Ghar Project was identified as best CSR project by the Government of Rajasthan. Vedanta Limited is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange in India and has ADRs listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
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