On the second phase of the Jalyukta Shivar Abihyan to be launched across 5,500 villages, , the state has adopted course corrections, with higher emphasis on recharging water bodies and increasing the water table.
It will include farm ponds and area treatment projects, which are cost effective and result oriented. The second phase is expected to take up 85,000 works, apart from farm ponds.
Water management expert Rajendra Singh, who was in Solapur last week, indicated that the model adopted for water conservation in the district, with emphasis on area treatment, should be replicated across India.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, acknowledging that some corrective measures have been incorporated in the programme, underlined the farm pond concept requiring just Rs 50,000, which saw overwhelming response from farmers.
In directives to district officials, the CM acknowledged the significance of water recharge to increase underground water.
In the first phase, 1.33 lakh works were completed at a cost of Rs 1,600 crore. The stress was on cement nulla bunding, desilting,
deepening and widening of rivers and ponds. Barrages along canals were also promoted, which required more funds.
According to Solapur district collector Tukaram Mundhe, “In Solapur, out of the 265 villages spread across 3.25 lakh hectares, we have taken up area treatment in 2,25 lakh hectares. The emphasis is on construction of compartment bunding, and well recharge, which is cost effective.”
He said, “For recharging a well, Rs 10,000 is required. In cement nulla bandh projects, cost goes upto Rs 10 lakh.” While maintaining that desilting or deepening water structures is useful, he said, “Unless we focus on area treatment, it would not serve a lasting purpose as soil erosion over the next few years would create the same problems.”
District collector of Osmanabad Prashant Narnawre said, “Each farm pond can be built with Rs 50,000. The pond generates water holding capacity and also percolates underground, leading to rising water levels.”
Reacting to the hue and cry among a section seeking more funds for farm ponds, the collector said, “There are two types of farm ponds.
One with polythene sheet at the base costs higher at Rs 65,000 to Rs 75,000. But farm ponds without polythene sheets work better for water recharge as they allow perlocation.”