25 JUNE 2015, ALLAHABAD : The acute water shortage in the area of Shankargarh Block, Allahabad will soon be mitigated as construction of 14 check dams across streams get approval from the irrigation department.

“The initiative will bring much needed relief to the ongoing water crisis that is affecting 50 villages and nearly 5000 households in the area.” as per Harit Prayas -2 (HP2) project supported by Caritas.

HP2 team has been working for the past 9 months in the Shankargarh block.  It created a major movement of the masses demanding the water shortage problem to be addressed.

Numerous meetings of the villagers were organized across 15 villages in the block to enlighten and persuade on the importance of check dams and the need for Integrated Water Resource Management.

A consensus was reached on the need to construct check dams in the block in the Derabari panchyat through an open meeting involving youth groups, PRI members from three panchayats, Gram Pradhans and with assistance from Deputy District Manager of NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development). Following which a letter was drafted and submitted to the local unit of the irrigation department.

However, it took more than a normal process before the appeal was heard. The matter had to be brought to the notice of the District Magistrate (DM) citing a delay in action.

HP2 Program Specialist Jang Bahadur Singh met and appraised the DM on the problem. A report on current situation of water scarcity and the need of check dames at Shankargarh was ordered which eventually led to the approval for construction the check dams.

Each check dam would cost Rs 3.4 million (approximately), raising the total investment in the project to somewhere close of Rs. 50 million. The initial paper works are on the verge of completion.

These dams will mainly serve two purposes: the first is to provide direct irrigation when rain fails, and the second is to facilitate the recharging of surrounding wells through percolation of water. Additionally, check dams provide water for other uses also.image001(2)