Farm ponds a boon for farmers

State constitutes mandal-level resource committees to determine how many farm ponds are required

June 17, 2016 12:00 am | Updated October 18, 2016 12:59 pm IST - VIZIANAGARAM/SRIKAKULAM:

Large-scale implementation of farm pond concept is going to be a major boon for the farmers of Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts as majority areas in the region come under rain fed category.

The farmers, who used to face water crisis during drought conditions, are now happy with the digging of farm ponds in nook and corner of the region. The farm ponds help in storing rainwater and gradually increase the groundwater level in surrounding areas. The required moisture for the fields is available throughout the year.

Although, farmers are aware of the concept, many are unable to take up them as they needed huge investment. Now, the government sanctions between Rs.64,000 and Rs. 3.4 lakh for both wages and material for the construction of farm ponds in various sizes. The farmers who have meagre area for the cultivation were asked to join hands with others since each pond is sanctioned for five acres of land.

Priority: water harvesting

Giving utmost priority to water harvesting methods, the government constituted mandal-level resource committees with MPDO as chairman and Assistant Engineer of the Water Resources Department as nodal officer to determine how many farm ponds are required and where to dig them.

The mandal committee will prepare a plan on ‘Neeru-Chettu’, NREGA and farm ponds construction. Under ‘Panta-Kunta’ programme, two to five small farm ponds will be dug in every village to ensure water storage for longer period.

Focus on tribal areas

With the directive from Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, Vizianagaram District Collector M.M. Nayak is monitoring the progress on a day-to-day basis as the government targeted 70,000 farm ponds in the district. “So far, we could complete 33,000 farm ponds in Vizianagaram district. We concentrated on tribal areas such as Kurupam, Gummalakshmipuram and other areas where there is no irrigation facility for thousands of acres,” he said.

According to him, the programme helped labourers to get maximum wages during the summer season when majority of them leave for other places to get livelihood. Around 80 per cent of the amount sanctioned for each pond is spent on wages.

Around 20,000 farm ponds have been planned in Srikakulam district. Srikakulam Collector P. Lakshmi Narasimham directed the officials of the District Water Management Agency to complete the task before the end of June.

The Collector felt that the construction would be difficult during the rainy season.

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