Water conservation model, ‘Project Jal Sanchay’ in Nalanda district of Bihar has been selected for the national award for excellence in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (MGNREGP), by the Ministry of Rural Development.
Although Nalanda has been traditionally an agriculture oriented district, it is frequently affected by drought like conditions that negatively impact cultivation and farm production.
- During monsoon, it witnesses flash floods, but the water run-off is so high that it washes away within a fortnight.
- ‘Project Jal Sanchay’ was launched under MGRNREGP, as a solution to water crisis emanating from these conditions.
About Project Jal Sanchay:
Check dams were created and traditional Aahar-Pyne irrigation system and traditional water bodies were desilted and renovated.
- A parallel campaign to create awareness about rainwater harvesting was also carried out.
- Knowledge of the traditional water conservation system, compiled through discussion with local farmers has also been incorporated into the design of ‘Project Jal Sanchay’.
- Through a blend of modern day techniques and technologies with traditional knowledge, a holistic approach to water crisis has been evolved.
- ‘Project Jal Sanchay’ has not only improved the availability of water in the region but has also positively impacted farm production in the areas covered by the project.
- It is to be noted that Nalanda is the native district of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.