How did Niranjan Khatri solve Port Blair's water crisis-min
When the concept of rainwater harvesting was unheard of in the country, it was decided to dig a well with the intention of harvesting rainwater which was used for gardening during the summer season. The hotel was located on a hill slope and soil erosion was a major problem. The problem was solved by using coir which was available in plenty in the island
Though not an architect by qualification, Niranjan Khatri can be rightly considered as the pioneer of eco design in the country. With a background in Hotel Management, Khatri has had a wealth of experience working as GM at ITC Hotels at various locations for 26 years.
He headed Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) Renewable Energy Cell for a year during 1996 to 1997. He developed eco-rating for Delhi Government which has been distributed to over 1200 schools. He has served as an Ex-convener of the water committee of CII Delhi Council and of the Power & Water Committee of CII Northern Region/National Committee, respectively. He is the ex-Chairperson of Sustainable Development Committee of Federation of Hotels and Restaurants Association of India-Western Region and Arunim along with serving on the board of National Trust- an arm of Ministry of social justice. Khatri is a recipient of Helen Keller Award in 2006 & in 2011; Karamveer Puraskar 2009; Green Hotelier award 2010 & Parivartan Sustainability Leadership Award 2012.
Presently he is the founder and principal consultant at iSambhav an organisation that works with for-profit, government and educational entities to help them conceptualize, internalize and operationalize new ways of working.
In 1991 Port Blair in the Andaman & Nicobar island faced major water crisis due to mounting pressure of modern day commercial enterprise on the environment. Filtered water supply was cut down by 75% and some drastic measures had to be taken for the ITC Hotel run its business. And the man who was entrusted with the task of tackling the crisis was none other than Niranjan Khatri. Do you know how Khatri helped ITC to come out of the crisis?
Magnitude of the crisis was such that Khatri had to take series of steps over a period of time to come out of the crisis. The first step taken was to replace the entire pipeline system of galvanised iron with plastic pipes to prevent corrosion so that clean salt seawater could be used for flushing toilets. The hotel undertook a mammoth task of planting 1,500 saplings in the airport complex as an afforestation program.
When the concept of rainwater harvesting was unheard of in the country, it was decided to dig a well with the intention of harvesting rainwater which was used for gardening during the summer season. The hotel was located on a hill slope and soil erosion was a major problem. The problem was solved by using coir which was available in plenty in the island.
The hotel realised that recycling is the best option to handle the garbage disposal problem in the environmentally sensitive island. Used cooking oil was recycled to produce soaps and tourists were packed lunch in steel boxes instead of cardboard cartons to solve the problem of littering.
Confidential documents were shredded and mixed with wet garbage to convert them into manure to be used in the hotel garden. Other rough and old paper was bound together and made use of as writing pads.
Successful tackling of the crisis encouraged the hotel to adopt more green initiatives at other locations too.
No wonder, ITC, today, is the only company of its kind in the world that is carbon positive, water positive and solid waste recycling positive.