INTRODUCTION : Small permanent Dams build of Plain Cement concrete, are found to be a suitable method of Rain Water Harvesting in the rural parts of Maharashtra. A Good number of 377 projects are executed in Thane & Raigad Districts up to April 2015 which have shown good results.
The selected Villages are located in the Bhiwandi Taluka of Thane District at a Distance of @ 50 Km from Thane.This Villages fall in Semi-Tribal & Hilly region with annual rainfall of more than 2500 mm. where surface run off water is at present under utilized because of lack of irrigation projects and Water Conservation Works. During the Months from March to May the villagers face acute shortage of Drinking water.
HISTORY : The villagers with the help of Local self Government construct Vanarai Bandharas across the non-perennial streams passing through the fields . Vanarai Bandharas are small temporary dams built by filling empty Cement / Polythene Bags with sand and arranging them to form oa wall 0.75 meter high. Because of the short life ( 1 Year ) of Vanarai Bandharas the villagers are compelled to perform this task every year at the end of monsoon. The local farmers are by now educated to use this arrested water for cultivation of the land in the off season ie. months of October to March. Traditionally they grow only one crop a year usually Paddy (Rice) in Talasari, Dahanu and Vikramgad Talukas.
Nine check dams in the following villages each costing @ INR 4.5 lacs are proposed. TOTAL COST ESTIMATE : INR 45 Lacs (USD 68000/-)
A ) The Tangible Benefits-
i) It raises the ground water table of the area surrounding the check dam ( Radius of 0.5 Km.) which increases the yield of the bore wells and open wells falling in this zone (@ 8 number per Dam). This enables the villagers to get drinking water for themselves and the live stock in the month of Summer.
ii) Farmers can cultivate the fields for a second crop usually cash crops ie. Vegetables , Flowers, Pulses etc. This will increase There family income substantially increasing the Standard of living (@ increase of Rs, 10,000/- per acre per year). Each check dam can hold water of @ 25 Lakh Litres and an area of @ 30 acres can be irrigated by using this water.
B) Intangible Benefits-
i) Local Population migrates each summer in search of work to the cities as lack of works and Water in the area compels them to do so. If water and work is provided by this project this migration can be avoided.
ii) Children are deprived of continues education due to migration. Lack of water also causes health & hygiene problems amongst them. Increase in attendance at schools and the gender sensitive design enables Girls and the women folk to spend more time at schools and home as the time and energy required to fetch water from distant sources (Sometimes more than a Kilometer) is saved.
BENEFICIARIES PER CHECK DAM :
i)Direct - Farmers who will increase income by growing cash crops 35 nos.
ii)Indirect: A) Population to be benefited by availability of drinking water @ 800 nos. B) Cattle to be benefited by availability of drinking Water @ 40 nos.