Tribals make Jalanidhi water scheme a success

Staff Reporter

Implement 56 micro-water projects as part of Jalanidhi

Project cost shared by beneficiary group, Government and panchayat

The beneficiaries own, operate and maintain the system

Kozhikode: Tribal people have proved that they are second to none in executing 56 micro water schemes in the Thirunelly grama panchayat in Wayanad district under the World Bank-aided ‘Jalanidhi’ rural drinking water supply project.

The project, which was launched in February 2000 in select districts, was later extended to the entire State. Implemented by the Kerala Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (KRWSA), the project’s uniqueness has been people’s participation at all levels of decision-making in implementation.

As per this scheme, the beneficiary has to put in 15 per cent of the project cost, while 75 per cent will be borne by the Government. The rest 10 per cent will be taken care of by the grama panchayat. However, ST category beneficiary group will have to put in only 10 per cent of the cost.

As per this scheme, beneficiary group executes the project themselves. They own, operate and maintain the scheme. Thirunelly grama panchayat, which is surrounded by forests, has 41 per cent ST population, comprising communities like Adiya, Kattunayka, Kuruma and Kuruchya. “They all chipped in to complete the project. All the beneficiaries have been adequately trained,” observes P.K. Soman, project manager, KRWSA, Wayanad.

Other benefits

The ‘Jalanidhi’ project also promotes women empowerment by forming Self Help Groups (SHGs), apart from giving provisions for ground water recharge, waste management, health awareness, vermicompost, drainage construction, strengthening of grama panchayat by constructing resource centre, school sanitation, formation of heath clubs and rain water harvesting.

The work in the schemes in Thirunelly grama panchayat started in February 2005 with a total outlay of Rs 6.25 crore.

Grama panchayat and an NGO (in this case OISCA) jointly supervised the project progress executed by the beneficiary group.

“We never insisted on adopting any particular technology. The technology adopted was decided as per its suitability in a particular locality. We also recommended water harvesting in areas where it was suited,” says Mr.Soman. Thirunelly grama panchayat is surrounded by forest areas.

N.K. Premachandran, Minister for Water Resources, will commission nearly 56 micro water schemes in Thirunelly panchayat on June 15.

Project cost shared by beneficiary group, Government and panchayat

The beneficiaries own, operate and maintain the system

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