Projects handled on behalf of Outside Agencies

The project was sponsored by united way of Baroda, Vadodara. Under the scope of project activity, it was proposed to study the impact of developmental activities on the groundwater quality in the city of Vadodara. Vadodara city measure 694 sq. km in area and has a population of about 15 lakh. Like other progressive district, Vadodara too has witness stupendous growth in the industrial and agriculture sectors. With the increase in the population, a corresponding expansion in the city limits has been observed in the city boundaries stretching & accommodating the suburban areas. City of Vadodara is also known as an industrial hub with range of industries from dairy product to engineering and from pharmaceuticals to chemical industries. Moreover, city is bound by the industrial zones viz. Makarpura GIDC in the south and Gorwa GIDC in the northwest. Also, some industrial units like Nandesari in the northwest and Halol in the northeast direction are located in the fringes of the city.
The objectives of the project were ::

  • To study the seasonal variation in the groundwater quality with respect to specific metal contamination both in the domestic & industrial areas & attempt to identify the source of pollution
  • To suggest the appropriate rainwater harvesting techniques to address the problem of contamination thus arisen

Through this study, pollution levels in the groundwater of industrial and residential units for selected harmful elements were evaluated and conjectures for the causes responsible for degradation of water quality were attempted. Also, study highlighted the pattern of groundwater concentration with respect to seasonal variation. Study also incorporated the PRA survey, in the selected sample areas, to understand the effects of pollution, its severity, its after–effects and possible solutions. Based on the outcome of the results, some controlled measures with the recommendations have been made.

An earthquake of 6.9 richer scale shook the land of Gujarat on 26th January 2001. The quake caused severe devastation, in some part of Gujarat, mainly in the area of Kutch & Saurashtra. About 7,904 villages and a numbers of urban centers were affected, with the estimated human death of 20,000 and devastating affect on the economic and social structure. In view of the fact that agriculture is the major source of livelihood means for majority of the rural population affected by the earthquake, the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology of the Govt.of India structured some special projects, concentrating on employment generation and rehabilitation through biotechnology and high-tech agriculture. One such responsibility of project execution was awarded to the Science Foundation and a `CO-Ordination Cell’ was established in the Vigyan Bhavan for the project implementation and to coordinate & serve as a link between the DBT and the local NGOs and beneficiaries.

Some of project activities are mentioned below :

  • Vermicompost :

221 vermicompost units were installed in 27 villages of Kutch. Approximately 4000 people were employed in the project.

  • Spirulina Production :

The women of Saurashtra region were trained to grow Spirulina, one of the world’s most valuable source of protein, iron, vitamins - B-carotene. Everyday around 20 ladies were trained on the site of Halvad (Surendrangar Dist.) for cultivation of Spirulina alga.

  • Mass Production and Application of Biocontrol :

Awareness among the farmers about the usefulness of biological control agents viz. Trichograma Chilonis, Chrysoperia carnea, lady bird beetles etc. their utilization and conservation was generated. A biocontrol laboratory was setup at farmer’s house in the Village Kanakpur.

  • Support to live stock & Green house Farming and Tree Plantation :

Along with the human life the devastation had severe affect on the animal lives & health in the earthquake affected areas. Effect of earthquake combined with the drought condition in the area, called for a need for immediate cattle feeding and vaccination initiative and accordingly appropriate measures were undertaken.

Under the National Environment Awareness Campaign scheme of Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, Science Fo8undation was awarded projects in the 2006 & 2007 with the objective of promoting the concept of clean environment & better waste management.

Science Foundation accordingly, organized talk shows, lectures/ seminar at school, household and corporate levels. Also, Foundation installed a waste recycling model in the school as a demonstration model to recycle the organic waste of the school. In addition, Foundation also circulated the pamphlets about the ways to manage the household waste.

Agriculture, directly in terms of input use or indirectly in terms of groundwater drawl is one of the contributing factors for the groundwater pollution, has indicated that a toxic brew of pesticides, nitrogen fertilizers, industrial chemicals and heavy metals is found in groundwater everywhere. Therefore, assessing impact of chemical fertilizers on groundwater pollution is very important in order to make provisions to protect existing groundwater resources of the region/area. With advent of irrigation facilities through canal and groundwater system, the agriculture system in India has become more input intensive. The use of chemical fertilizers like Urea, DAP, Potash etc, has increased rapidly. In order to support the views mentioned above, a research study was undertaken sponsored by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Sri Lanka to carry out survey in the four talukas of Vadodara District & study the quality of groundwater/possible contamination of groundwater by the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The research was carried out in a sample drawn from the four Taluka viz, Padara, Savli, Dabhoi, and Shinor, of Vadodara district. The study talukas are selected to reflect maximum variation in cropping patterns and geographical spread within a district.

The objectives with which this study was been taken up were: To establish a relationship between cropping pattern and groundwater quality in the study area.

  • To suggest the appropriate rainwater harvesting techniques to address the problem of contamination thus arisen
  • To ascertain the nature of contamination or chemical composition of the groundwater due to use of chemical fertilizers/pesticides