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Saturday 27 May 2000


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Ponds in Mehsana, Patan being deepened

MEHSANA: With drought stalking a large area of North Gujarat frequently and water tables receding fast due to overexploitation of underground water, people of the region seem to have awaken to the need for recharging and water-harvesting.

Thanks to concerted efforts by spiritual leader Pandurang Shastri Athvale, Swadhyay Parivars have inspired villagers to meet the challenge of water scarcity by taking the bull by horns without expecting the government help all the time. Many NGOs, trusts and individuals are involved in a big way in the campaign of recharging, desilting and deepening of ponds.

With participation of people and their substantial contribution of funds, the state government has sanctioned the project reclamation of water ponds in Basna, Sunsi, Sidi, Haathpur, Vanagala, Ruppar, Balisana, Sander and Ranuj talukas. The pond in Basna is spread in two hectares of land. The government has sanctioned Rs 10 lakh for its digging. Ten per cent amount would be contributed by people and another 10 per cent by Visnagar market yard. People of the village are engaged in desilting and deepening operation in a big way.

A few kilometres away from Basna, another water pond in Sansi is being reclaimed. The pond was dug during the regime of Gaekwad and it provided drinage water for long time. Neglected over so many years, it lost its water harvesting capacity. It is expected that work on Basna and Sunsu ponds would be completed before monsoon sets in.

The government has sanctioned plans for deepening of about 100 ponds in various talukas of Mehsana and Patan. Work on 45 ponds is nearing completion.

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