IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA,
GREAT JOB MR. PARMAR
it is good to eat as many as vegetables and fruits (totally vegetarian), but my aurvedic doctor asked me to stop eating every...
Never has a monsoon entered India with so much people-government efforts to arrest its downpour. An extensive array of water harvesting structures built after three drought spells in 11 states -- more than half a million in Madhya Pradesh ( mp ) and about 20,000 in Gujarat -- is today overflowing with 50 per cent of normal rainfall in the first month.
But the jubilation in the countryside is not without any despair. The more the water structures the more is the question asked: what will their future be? As each and every structure is an economic instrument with potential of eradicating poverty in villages, their sustainability is the greatest challenge of the water conservation movement. Government efforts and public money can be simply washed away if the question of sustainability is not addressed immediately. India's past is but a reminder of the buried culture of water harvesting.
Initial state government reactions are mixed. While the mp government is trying to bring in some structural changes to give ownership to the communities, the Gujarat government seems to be imposing its control over these structures. While mp is trying to hand over these structures to the gram sabhas , which in turn will manage these structures through committees of beneficiaries, the Gujarat chief minister says the water belongs to the nation and so rightfully the government has the right to manage it. For a state fresh from a crippling drought, it is ominous portent. In Rajasthan, the case of Lava ka Baas could have frightful implications.
The immediate need is to institutionalise these structures that gives people the power to own and manage them. Built with public money and driven by economic needs only people's institutions can manage them sustainably as experiences in community initiatives show. If the government seeks to establish its control over them again, history will only repeat itself more ferociously. Also, an opportunity to set in motion people-oriented poverty alleviation initiatives will be missed.