JAIPUR: The recent spell of rain in eastern Rajasthan proved to be a big boon for people in Bhompura village of Bundi district who took a special initiative to preserve water.
Through voluntary efforts and an investment of Rs 45 lakh without any govt assistance, the villagers created a huge check dam which has now filled up to store around 15 feet of water in the reservoir.
Villagers were thrilled that the check dam will fulfill all their drinking water and other needs. They are also keeping a round-the-clock vigil to ensure that the dam and the water remain totally safe. The New Indian Express had earlier reported on this special initiative for the Brightside section.
To realise how precious water is, one only needs to visit Bhompura village where people of a cluster of 13 villages in the area cherish the visible results of their efforts in the form of the over-flowing check dam. Instead of relying on the government to resolve their water challenges, people of these villages had got together a few months ago to construct the giant check dam which is over 2,000 feet long and 35 feet in height in a record 29 days.
With the strong spell of rain in early August, the 2 km long and 35 feet deep dam is filled to its brim. In this water-scarce area, wells and borewells, which had turned dry for years, now have water in them. Mukesh Nagar, a local journalist who played a crucial role in the construction of their dam, says: "We got a heavy spell of rains for about 6-7 days and that has helped us to store over 25 ft of water in the dam. We are now doing everything possible to keep the dam safe. Whenever we get strong showers, we call in a JCB machine and if there are any holes or leakages, we plug it immediately.”
The villagers had brought 6 JCB machines and 46 tractor trolleys to start the construction of the dam. They monitored the work in the scorching heat which has yield results. The villagers feel well-rewarded for all the effort and money they had put in.
Senior resident Chotu Lal Gurjar says, “Everyone in our area is now delighted. Rains for a week have filled up our dam to the brim. Now everyone is happy and we are doing our best to protect the water and the dam. The monsoon this year is like a huge festival for all of us. Since the dam is made of mud, we are all working round the clock to ensure that it stays in good shape and all the water collected will be enough for drinking, farming, and for our cattle.”
Ramavtar Gurjar, a local farmer in Bhompura village, had contributed Rs 1 lakh for the construction of the dam. He has 75 Bheegas of land in Bhompura and he is thrilled now. "Our hard work and money we invested are paying off now. Now all our problems will be solved."
With clear signs that groundwater in the area has risen, villagers said now the government should pitch in to help to raise the water level in the entire area through sustained water harvesting for the long term.
For the moment, the villagers are full of hope for good crops and a brighter future.