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Water conservation plans for Paschimanchal districts

Kolkata: The state Panchayat and Rural Development department has chalked out a number of schemes to conserve water later use it for irrigation in the rain-starved Paschimanchal districts by successfully implementing Mahatma Gandhi national Rural Employment Guarantee Act.

These districts are Purulia, Bankura, Jhargram, Birbhum, West Midnapore and West Burdwan. Two projects,Usharmukti and Uttaran have helped not only to irrigate land but have changed the economic lives of the people.

It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has declared that every year July 12 will be observed as Save Water Save Life Day.

On July 12 , she took part in a walk which started from Jorasanko Thakurbari to Gandhi statue. The Panchayats and Rural Development department has instructed all the gram panchayats to take steps to conserve water and groundwater recharging. Usharmukti is a collaborative initiative between state government and Bharat Rural Livelihoods Foundation (BRLF) and six other NGOs. Under the scheme, rejuvenation of seven decaying rivers including Ajay, Mayurakshi, Damodar, Darakeshwar, Kansabati Shilabati and Suvarnarekha has been taken up. The scheme spans over 55 blocks and 472 gram panchayats. The scheme has benefitted 7500 poor house holders and 4975 hectares have been treated in comprehensive manner.

Uttaran is a watershed based approach and because of its successful implementation the remotest villages in Bankura are changing.

In Birbandh and Kharujhor till date 26.25 acre fallow uplands have been covered with social forestry. In Rajapara of Barabazar block, 1.45 hectares have been transformed into mango orchard and 580 saplings of Alphanso variety have been planted. Water came from a farm pond situated nearby.

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