‘Project Jal Sanchay’, a water conservation model which is successfully adopted in Nalanda district of south-central Bihar, has been chosen for the national award for excellence in the Mahatma Gandhi national rural employment guarantee programme (MGNREGP) by the Ministry of Rural Development. The award will be conferred on June 19 at a function held at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.
Nalanda being an agriculture-oriented district remained affected by drought-like conditions that hampered the farming activities in the district. Though the district receives flash floods during the monsoon, the water runoff in the district was very high so much so that the entire water got washed away in a span of 15 days. Under these circumstances, ‘project jal sanchay’ was launched under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (MGNREGP) to offset the water crisis in the district.
Under the project, check dams and traditional Aahar-Pyne irrigation systems were created. In addition, traditional water bodies were desilted and renovated. Campaigns about the usefulness of rainwater harvesting were also carried out. The project was a mix of modern day techniques and technologies with traditional knowledge and got evolved into a holistic program to conserve water.
As a result of the implementation of the project, availability of water got improved drastically which positively impacted the farm production in the district.