Special Correspondent

Scheme to cover 1180 over-exploited, critical and semi-critical units

NEW DELHI: The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Thursday gave its approval for a subsidy-based scheme on “Artificial Recharge of Groundwater through Dugwells” in hard rock areas at a total cost of Rs.1871.10 crore. Of this, the subsidy component will be around Rs.1500 crore. The scheme is envisaged as many areas of the country underlain by hard rock aquifers are facing acute problems of over-exploitation and consequent depletion of ground water resources.

It envisages groundwater recharge programme in 1180 over-exploited, critical and semi-critical units through 4.45 million existing irrigation dug wells owned by the farmers.

It will be implemented in association with the Central Groundwater Board and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development. While 100 per cent subsidy has been provided for marginal and small farmers, there will be 50 per cent subsidy for ‘other’ farmers.

Over 3 years

The scheme will be implemented over three years during XI Plan till 2010.

It will help in augmentation of ground water resources and improvement of ground water quality; increase in the availability of water for irrigation, leading to creation of additional irrigation potential and in arrest of declining water level.

It will also facilitate strengthening of institutional framework for water resource and irrigation management at State and user level and help in creation of awareness/capacity building and community participation in recharge activities.