Mumbai, May 31st, 2016:India Pulses and Grains Association (IPGA), the apex body for the pulses and grains industry in India,has launched a majorWATER RESOURCE REVIVAL PROJECT in drought-hit villages of Bhokardhan Taluka in Jalna District and Phulambri Taluka, in Aurangabad District of the Marathwada region in Maharashtra.The project involves widening and deepening of the riverbeds and nallahs in these villages to ensure that rain water is captured in the riverbed for it to percolate into the surrounding soil. This will not only improve the water table in the soil but will also replenish the water in the wells and bore wells of the villages making enough drinking water available to villagers.
The project which wasinaugurated by Shri Raosaheb Patil Danve, Hon’ble Member of Parliament from Jalna, Maharashtra is being executed in 6 villages of Bhokardan Taluka in Jalna District viz., Bhokardan, Shipora Bazaar, Pimpalgaon Renukai, Kolhapur, Kolegaon & Malegaon and Paradh. In Phulambri Taluka of Aurangabad District, the project is being executed in 3 villages viz., Wanegaon, Daregaon Dari and Manmodi.
Mr. Bimal Kothari, Vice Chairman - IPGA speaking about the project said, “Marathwada is one of the leading pulse producing region in India and is facing its third consecutive year of drought leading to severe depletion in the water table affecting the overall production of pulses. As the apex body for the pulses trade, we believe that it is our duty and responsibility to step in and help the farmers to the best possible extent in this difficult situation.”
Mr. Z L Bheda, Hon. Secretary – IPGA said, “Water is a key requirement for farming and IPGA’s Water Resource Revival Project is a step in providing long-term relief to farmers and will ensure that they have enough water to support farming. This will help them increase their production of pulses and help reduce India’s dependence on imports.”
The widening and deepening of the riverbed/nallah in each village will be done for around 2 km to 3 km in length, across the entire span of the river bed or nallah and 2.5 to 3 meters deep. The span of the river beds vary from 25 mtrs to 65 mtrs.
IPGA has adopted the DOH (डोह)model for the excavation process. In this process, multiple pockets of about 300 meters in length at a distance of 10 to 15 meters are created within the riverbed/nallah. These pockets capture the water which then percolates into the surrounding soil replenishing the water table.
At the end of the project IPGA will have excavated close to 400,000 cubic meters of river beds/nallahs creating a storage capacity of 40 crore litres and three infiltrations of the cached water will percolate over 100 crore litres of water into the land around these sites.
The project will directly and indirectly benefit close to 25 villages and over 150,000 villagers in Bhokardan and Phulambri talukas. The improved water table level and availability of water will ensure that farmers in the area will have abundant supply for irrigation, increase sowing and therefore production of pulses in the region. The increased farming activity will help generate employment as well as reduce the migration of youth from the villages to nearby towns and cities in search of employment.
IPGA has planned to undertake activities that will ensure the all-round development of Bhokardan and Phulambri by providing long term solutions. While the Water Resource Revival Project is the first such initiative,many more activities are in the planning stage.
The Water Resource Revival Project is a part of the various initiatives planned by IPGA to celebrate The International Year of Pulses 2016. The other initiatives of IPGA include conducting training programs in advanced agricultural practices for farmers with experts from various research institutes like ICRISAT, IIPR and IFPRI.