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Project to renew dry water sources in Maha


Mumbai: With an aim to tackle drought in dry districts of Maharashtra, social organisation ‘Art of Living’ and locals have come up with a water harvesting project to rejuvenate parched water sources.

Makarand Jadhav, one of the coordinators of ‘Jal Jagruti Abhiyaan’ project, said they had given a presentation to Union minister Nitin Gadkari and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis yesterday.

The project aims to rejuvenate water sources that have dried up due to erratic monsoons and overuse of ground water.

“Due to presence of silt on the ground, rainwater cannot trickle down and eventually flows into the sea. This does not let the ground water level rise thus, villagers do not have any water for drinking and farming purposes,” Jadhav said.

He said the de-silting work is carried out by ‘Art of Living’ with the help of locals in which half of the project cost is being borne by the organisation.

“Our work is to remove the silt on dried up water bodies and reach a level where only sand is left. Sand allows water to percolate inside the ground. We have around 16-18 excavators who help us in de-silting the ground,” he elaborated.

He said farmers’ suicides and migration of rural population to cities could be curbed if farmers get water.

“We have completed work in Latur, Osmanabad, Beed, Jalgaon, Nagpur, Satara and Jalna, and 25 villages in these districts,” he added.

Citing examples, Jadhav said the state government had spent Rs 12 lakh on sending water tankers to Babhalgaon village in Latur district between February-June in 2013 which was not required the next year due to the project.

“In June 2013, we had started de-silting water percolation tank in the village (Babhalgaon) and removed 27,000 cubic metre silt at a cost of Rs 6.5 lakh. In 2014, there was no need of water tankers to be sent to the village,” he said.

Similarly, in Bhada village of Ausa taluka in Latur, Rs 19.5 lakh was spent on de-silting, the work lasted from March- May 2014 and during monsoon the village witnessed 100 per cent rabi sowing that year, Jadhav said.

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