Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Recharge of groundwater need of the hour: Jharkhand CM

Ranchi, July 21: Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren has focussed on recharge of groundwater and termed it as the need of the hour.

“Recharge of groundwater is the need of the hour. Fields marked as barren land need to be made cultivable. This will help boost the rural economy and the purchasing power of the villagers,” said Hemant Soren while informing about the Nilambar Pitambar Jal Samriddhi Yojana in the state.

Incidentally, Jharkhand receives 1100 mm to 1442mm rainfall, out of which 23800 million cubic meter (mcm) comes as Surface water and 500 MCM as ground water. But due to geographical setup about 80% Surface water and 74% ground water goes outside state which is responsible for 38% of drought in Jharkhand. After the creation of Jharkhand, all the towns as well as capital Ranchi has shown declining trend of ground water level. Consequently, in the peak summer, wells and tube wells go dry. This has necessitated the need for artificial recharge to cater to the need of ground water demand, particularly in the urban areas.

According to government sources, the work initiated and completed under the Nilambar Pitambar Jal Samriddhi Yojana in Jharkhand are now visible on the ground.

Under this scheme, Loose Boulder Check Dams have been built near the hills and hundreds of villages across the state. This has helped in controlling the free flow of rainwater and has increased groundwater levels. Additionally, the construction of Trench cum Bund (TCB) has helped in the conservation of rainwater. With the construction of irrigation wells under MGNREGA, farmers are now involved in plantations using drip irrigation facilities on a large scale. 

In the previous financial year, more than 25,000 acres of was covered under Birsa Harit Gram Yojna, whereas in the current financial year, more than 21,000 acres of land is being covered under the same scheme. Villagers are taking initiative to conserve water by joining the government’s scheme, this in turn has helped increase agricultural production and the prosperity of the villages.

The state government had launched the Nilambar-Pitamber Jal Samridhi Yojana a year ago.  The scheme is being executed across 4000 Panchayats in the State. In many districts, lands marked as barren fields are now spreading greenery. The scheme has helped increase the groundwater level across the state. Apart from this, workers in rural areas have also been provided with employment opportunities in their respective villages and Panchayats.

Under Nilambar-Pitamber Jal Samridhi Yojna, there was a target of implementing 3,32,963 schemes across 24 districts in the state. Against this, 1,97,228 schemes have already been completed. Work is in progress for the remaining 1,35,735 schemes. The condition of rural areas has improved a lot due to the implementation of this scheme. In many areas, even barren lands are being used for cultivation with the help of water conservation.

 A substantial part of Jharkhand is a plateau, where most of the rainwater flows away. Apart from this, many districts like Latehar, Garhwa and Palamau face water crisis. To address the issues of the water crisis and provide employment to the rural population, the government led by chief minister Hemant Soren rolled out Nilambar Pitambar Jal Samriddhi Scheme.

 The major focus of this scheme  are-to develop and employ the unemployed labourers living in rural areas, to strengthen the rural economy, rainwater conservation and construction of groundwater recharge units and increase groundwater levels in districts facing a water crisis like Latehar, Palamau and Garhwa and stagnate farm water in the field itself. 

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