IPGA has launched a major WATER RESOURCE REVIVAL PROJECT in drought-hit villages of Bhokardhan Taluka in Jalna District and Phulambri Taluka, in Aurangabad District of the Marathwada region of Maharashtra State. IPGA has undertaken this project as an IYP2016 initiative and achieve the objective of promoting the increase in Pulses production in India. The project was inaugurated by Mr. Raosaheb Patil Danve, Member of Parliament and Maharashtra State President for the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) on May 18th, 2016.

Marathwada is historically a pulses producing State but due to three consecutive years of drought farmers have started moving away from pulses to crops like Cotton, Maize and Soyabean. By the end of the Water Resource Revival Project, close to 400,000 cubic meters of river beds/nallahs have been excavated, creating a storage capacity of 40 crore litres and three infiltrations of the cached water which will percolate over 100 crore litres of water into the land around these sites. If the monsoons are normal this year, it will solve the water issues for a minimum period of one year.

The project involves widening and deepening of the riverbeds and nallahs in these villages to ensure that rain water is captured in the riverbed for it to percolate into the surrounding soil. This will not only improve the water table in the soil but will also replenish the water in the wells and bore wells of the villages making enough drinking water available to villagers. The widening and deepening of the riverbed/nallah in each village will be done for around 2 km to 3 km in length, across the entire span of the river bed or nallah and 2.5 to 3 meters deep. The span of the river beds vary from 25 mtrs to 65 mtrs. 

IPGA has adopted the DOH (डोह) model for the excavation process. In this process, multiple pockets of about 300 meters in length at a distance of 10 to 15 meters are created within the riverbed/nallah. These pockets capture the water which then percolates into the surrounding soil replenishing the water table. 

The project will directly and indirectly benefit close to 25 villages and over 150,000 villagers in Bhokardan and Phulambri talukas. The improved water table level and availability of water will ensure that farmers in the area will have abundant supply for irrigation, increase sowing and therefore production of pulses in the region. The increased farming activity will help generate employment as well as reduce the migration of youth from the villages to nearby towns and cities in search of employment. 

There is a lot more work to be done in this region and the Water Resource Revival Project is just the first step. As a next step we plan to adopt a few villages in the region and convert them to smart villages by improving availability of basic requirements like schools, medical centres, sanitation, roads, etc. The list is long and funds required are a plenty. We appeal to you to help us get financial support for this project so that we can achieve the objective of helping the farmers. 

IPGA has planned to undertake activities that will ensure the all-round development of Bhokardan and Phulambri by providing long term solutions. While the Water Resource Revival Project is the first such initiative, many more activities are in the planning stage. To this end, MoUs have already been signed with ICRISAT to conduct training programs for farmers. They are also speaking with IIPR and ICAR for similar MoUs wherein they will plan a range of ground activities in rural India to educate farmers on the various techniques they can adopt to increase production and yield of pulses.

Watch the project showreel below: