Hyderabad: Prisons across Telangana, which were parched for over half of the year, now turned into water havens — thanks to rainwater harvesting pits, ponds, and to some extent the Haritha Haram campaign, which replenished the water table.Elaborating on how the change came about, Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services VK Singh said there would normally be water scarcity for about seven months in a year. In most of them, the bore-wells too would dry up, leading to severe water shortage.
“It was then that we started water conservation activities three years ago,” he said. “We had a programme to plant teakwood trees and planted about three lakh of these for the long run. I asked the local authorities to dig a pond for multi-purpose uses,” Singh said.
The idea was to give prisons a ‘resort look’. “When there is a pond on the premises surrounded by coconut trees, cattle and lush greenery, there are chances of them influencing the mental condition of a person who is lodged there,” he said.Now, after three years, the results are visible wherever the initiatives were taken up, including the prisons in Hyderabad, Sangareddy and Adilabad. “We have the ponds filled in all the prisons across the State. Most of them were dug by the Prisons Department itself. A few were dug up with the help of GHMC,” Singh said, adding that the water table showed tremendous improvement, with no water scarcity in the prisons now.