Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is all set to give a go ahead for building 20000 check dams across 13 districts over a time span of 90 days. The project cost is estimated at INR 720 crores and is planned to be completed by the end of the month of July.
Recharging groundwater, rainwater harvesting and storing water in places that are hit by water scarcity during certain months, is what the Neeti Samrakshana Udyamam aka Save Water Movement aims at. By taking into account remote sensing data, a study conducted by the Andhra Pradesh Space Application Center has identified the sites for these check dams. The CM who is planning to get the civil society to offer support for this initiative said that by using the water carefully and efficiently, a 25% increase in the yield from farms can be guaranteed.
The construction of the check dams will be supervised by the engineering students. In order to educate the villagers about the importance and benefits of saving water, NGOs have been roped in. A new mobile app, AP Varuna can be used by the farmers to get weekly updates about temperatures, humidity, weather conditions and groundwater levels.
Additionally, 1256 gadgets to monitor the level of ground water have been installed by the state government. According to sources, the ideal depth of groundwater is considered to be 3 to 8 meters. However, the current depth averages at 14.34 meters which is considerably low.
The irony lies in the fact that as CM Naidu gives a green signal to this ambitious project, a similar project that was launched a couple of years ago, Panta Sanjeevani, is left to languish as no attention is being paid to it. The aim of this project was to create 930000 farm ponds. Though INR 1000 crores of the MNREGA funds were allotted for the project, only 60% of the target was met.