As many as 7,895 artificial recharge structures have been constructed in the last two years under the State government's scheme for sustaining the groundwater table.

An official release here on Monday stated that Rs.200 crore was allotted during 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 and the recharge structures were built by line departments.

Launched in 2008, the Rs.550-crore scheme envisages collection of surplus rainwater and storing it in aquifers. The structures — check dams, subsurface dykes, recharge shafts and percolation ponds — will be built by various departments of the State government with the Public Works Department (PWD)'s Water Resources Department as the nodal agency. On completion of the scheme, 50,000 structures are expected to be constructed.

The release said that the recharge shafts constructed by the PWD in Orathandu aquifer of Thanjavur district had showed a considerable rise in water level — 20 feet — and improvement in water quality in surrounding wells. The change was also noted in Dindigul, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts.

Another release of the State government stated that under the Centre-funded scheme of installation of recharge structures through dug wells, Rs.126 crore, covering 3,38,002 well owners, had been disbursed in the State.

About 20,750 farmers had benefited from the construction of artificial recharge structures in existing irrigation open wells of the beneficiary farmers in the affected areas.