In Piplantri, a village in Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district, around 1,800 check dams that have been constructed on the pasture lands over the mountains in the last 11 years to recharge the groundwater level.
Over a span of 11 years, this village among the Aravalli ranges has become an ‘‘adarsh gaon’ (ideal village), which has survived Rajasthan’s severe drought and water scarcity. there are countless puddles in the ranges, which is an unlikely sight in Rajasthan,” says Shyam Sundar Paliwal, former sarpanch and president of Jal Grahan Committe, which turned the barren Rajsamand into an oasis.
The effective utilisation of government schemes has played a big role . “All the check dams and trenches have been constructed by villagers working under different programmes, such as the MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act ) and the Integrated Watershed Management Programme,” said Paliwal.
Water tank constructed
The villagers have built 12 water tanks with a capacity of 30,000 to 3.5 lakh litres in the mountains, which now provide direct tap water to over 8,000 residents. Groundwater is pumped up using innovations such as a roundabout-cum-water pump in the school playground that pumps up water when children take a spin.