Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Naugarh falls short of water for irrigation

TNN, 3 February 2010, 09:51pm IST

VARANASI: The remote areas of Maoist-affected Naugarh block in Chandauli district face shortage of water for irrigation, though the block has two

big water reservoirs and water falls.

The natives of this forest and hilly areas are dependent mainly on farming and animal husbandry, both needing adequate water for survival. The following issue was raised and discussed during the meeting of the divisional commissioner held recently at the Naugarh block. Tarkeshwar Mishra, programme officer, Association of Voluntary Agencies for Rural Development (AVARD), who also attended the meeting, presented a detailed report of the ground reality of Naugarh block.

The forest had been the main resource for natives, but their dependence on forest resources continued to decrease gradually due to deforestation. Presently, according to the AVARD report, the government records claimed out of 21,059 acres of agricultural land 12,715 acres was being irrigated with canals and 2,593 acres with other sources while 5,751 acres of land was left unirrigated. "But, in reality it is not so," said Mishra, adding that despite having big water reservoirs, most parts of the block were without water. "The down areas like Chandauli and Chakiya get advantage of water reservoirs of Naugarh due to improper arrangement of water storage," he said.

The Chandraprabha Dam constructed on the Chandraprabha river mainly serves irrigation purpose in Chakiya. "Similarly, the water of Naugarh dam, constructed on Karmanasa river, is also diverted to Chakiya and Chandauli areas for irrigation," said Mishra adding that there is a need to construct small check dams and reservoirs to store water in hilly areas. It can be done through the project of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

However, the forest department has planned to construct 108 check dams in the jungles of Naugarh to conserve water. Commissioner NS Ravi instructed the officials of irrigation department to adopt all possible ways to store water in this region.

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