Chennai green man speaks about being self-sustainable

Chennai: To which extent can we, residents, go to express our love for nature? May be propagate ideas to save it or take photographs or pen a poem. But it does not really benefit anyone. Going beyond expectations, A Sanjivi, an engineer from Sarvamangala Nagar, advocates self-sustainability and is even a living example.

While the entire city has seen the pinch of water scarcity and many have booked have been ringing the private lorry suppliers and been disappointed, but you may not believe if I say he has booked only once since the time we began realising how short we are of the resource. Yes, it is true. In conversation with News Today, he shares what all one can do to live an independent life.

“I would call it the joy of having a guilt-free life. I always think about being dependent to the government even for meeting the basic needs despite being aware of green building practices. Sooner, I understood the importance of being self-sustainable and it is something I feel proud about,” shares Sanjivi.

Having witnessed the water scarcity in Madras way back in 2003, he started planning how self-sustainable he can be. He devised the blueprint with sump to capture rainwater, have solar panels and generate bio-gas among many other things. It is six years since he ventured into living an eco-friendly life and does not want to go back to the normal life.

In a measure to save the rainwater from running off, he has a huge sump to capture it. “While planning I made space for a sump that holds 55,000 litre. It is recharged during monsoon in December, how much ever we judiciously use, it does not last beyond April. I mix ground water with it from February so that the rain water is not exhausted completely,” Sanjivi says.

Underground sump that captures the rain water

It saved him from completely plummeting the ground water resource that has come to his rescue now. But it does not stop right there.

He adds, “I bet I would at least have saved up 2000 litre from the brief spell that showered last week.” He advises people plan to have a mega sump right when the house is under construction, if not it would be a bit of an arduous task. But if people who already have built the house, but wishes to capture the rainwater, they may divert the water to the sump.

We may have come across several instructions on conserving water. Going a step ahead, he even reuses the used water, commonly known as greywater. “I harvest the greywater at my home. Although it can be recycled, I pass it to the ground so that the water table stays recharged,” Sanjivi adds.

Sanjivi does not throw away even the organic waste, but uses it to produce bio-gas. “No perishable waste is sent to the local body for disposal. Instead he uses them to run his bio-gas. The generated gas caters up to 30 per cent of my everyday usage. I need not bother if the conservancy worker does not show up to collect the waste. I use the discharge water from the gas to my garden,” the sustainability practitioner says.

Many of us have cribbed about the natural energy source going waste. Chennai is blessed naturally with sunny days more that has helped him cut down even the electricity that is supplied through TANGEDCO. “I only have use the on-grid supply during dusk and monsoon. All in all, I’m self-sustainable and proud about it,” he concludes.
He can be reached at 98405 90705.

Bhavani Prabhakar