Millennium Post

Govt to set up watersheds in drought prone areas

The new project, which has been taken up at drought prone areas of Bankura, Purulia, West Midnapore and some other districts, will strengthen the rural economy. A considerable volume of rain water is wasted in these areas and hence, the state Fisheries department has stressed on setting up of watersheds in these areas.

If the rain water is harnessed by small dams it can be used for pisciculture, cultivation and domestic use in the lean season.A watershed is defined as the land that contributes water to a given site. It is a line that connects all the highest points in the area. It refers to the area from where the water to a particular drainage system, like a river or stream, comes from.

 A watershed provides a natural environmental unit for planning a developmental initiative. The watershed mapping in the districts of Purulia and Bankura has been taken up to delineate watershed boundaries and to suggest the suitable sites for check dams for water harvesting in a pilot basis.

Water stored in check dams also help in reaching the groundwater through bottom percolation in the subsurface. Watershed development, thus, plays an important role in uplifting the rural economy, increasing fish production, agricultural production, afforestation, water, soil and land management in drought prone areas.

A digital map of water bodies was already created by the Fisheries department which will be able to create employment, thereby, uplifting the rural economy. The GIS based map of water bodies will help in managing e-governance in the fishery sector.

Web based availability of GIS maps to the district fishery offices and fishery co-operatives will improve decision making process in a decentralised setup, thereby creating a scenario of efficient management.

 The domestic demand of fish is highest in the state as almost all the people here eat fish. The state has a deficit in fish production and thus it has to import fishes from other states. The main purpose of the project was to increase the production of the fishes across the state.

The mapping of water-bodies is a unique initiative by the state government which will not only help to increase the production of fishes, but will also help various other state government departments. 

Under this project the state Fisheries department has developed a comprehensive digitised data bank through which one can have a detailed idea of the total number of water bodies above 5 cottah, their nature, feasibility of pisciculture in these water bodies and about their connectivity, location.

Through the digitised map one can have an idea which ponds can be used for pisciculture and it will 
also help to know whether any particular water body is worthy of being declared fit for pisciculture.
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