Punjab government can apply the model of Rajasthan CM to increase the
ground water level in the state which would help the entire farming community.
The “Mukhyamantri Jal Swalamban Yojana” (MJSA), a brainchild of Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje to make villages self-sufficient in water through public participation, has increased the ground level of water in Udaipur district of the state by around six metres.
Under MJSA, new watershed structure is conceived by former United Nations consultant on conservation of water T Hanumantha Rao and executed by Sriram Vedire, chairman of Rajasthan River Basin and Water Resources Planning Authority that implements the flagship programme of the Raje government, by linking it with the Kakatiya-era chain-link-tank system practiced in Telangana.
After realising Raje dream project on ground, administration found efforts under MJSA has recharged ground water and ground water level has increased by 5.8 meters.
Apart from increasing ground water table, 314 dry hand pumps out of 602 are now functional and 18 defunct tubewells and 80 open wells are not functional.
On an average in the district cropped area has increased by 3.37 percent. Most of the cultivators have changed their cropping pattern from tradintional to other crops and agriculture production has increased by 18 to 25.
Initially the plan was not well received by the residents or legislator as well and termed an eyewash and wastage of public money by the state government.
The MJSA, which was launched in 2916 by Raje, has till now benefited over 6,600 villages across the state. During the first phase about 3,249 villages were benefited while in the second phase over 4,213 villages have been benefited.
If Rajasthan can achieve the target then why not Punjab is applying the same to enhance the ground water level? The ground water level in Punjab has been depleting and even the Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal told that the water level in Punjab would go down and it would completely exhaust in the next eight to ten years.
The farmers of Punjab are dependent on the tube wells for irrigation and only 25 % farming is being done on the river water.