NITI Aayog formulating National Policy on water conservation based on ‘Buldana Pattern’
Staff Reporter :
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari urges Maharashtra Government also to adopt the pattern
Sometimes, a local success story is useful in bringing about positive change nationally. For, it serves as the first step in the long journey of change. This applies to ‘Buldana Pattern’ of water conservation. National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog is in the process of formulating National Policy on water conservation based on ‘Buldana Pattern’. Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, tweeted on Saturday in this regard.
He felt happy that ‘Buldana Pattern’ of water conservation had earned national recognition. Under the ‘Buldana Pattern’, synchronisation of national highway construction and water conservation was achieved for the first time in Buldana district of Vidarbha region. It was done by way of using earth from the water bodies, nullahs and rivers.
Consequently, it led to increase in water storage capacity of water bodies in Buldana district. According to Gadkari, who had pushed for the implementation of the idea, “With this activity in Maharashtra, 225 lakh cubic metre of earth was used in National Highway construction and the resultant widening/deepening resulted in increase of 22,500 TMC of water storage capacity with no cost to State Government.” He has been highlighting the need for adoption of this cost-efficient ‘Buldana Pattern’ of road construction across the country, especially in regions facing water scarcity. The works done with this pattern on pilot basis in Buldana district of Vidarbha, resulted in recharge of groundwater table. Also, due to deepening and training of river, drains, etc the floods have reduced. Previously, flood waters used to gush into nearby farms and destroy the crops as well as scalp the fertile layer of soil.
However, with reduced discharge capacity of rivers and nullahs, damage to farm land also could be reduced by adopting ‘Buldana Pattern’. Gadkari said that this convergence was appreciated and accepted by NITI Aayog, which was in the process of formulating National Policy based on this pattern. Adopting the initiative nationally will increase agricultural production and also bring prosperity to farmers’ lives, he felt. Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman of NITI Aayog, had appreciated the initiative some time ago. He had even suggested extending the initiative to Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme works. Gadkari has urged Maharashtra Government to adopt the pattern across the State. Recently, he wrote a letter to Uddhav Thackeray, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, in this regard. In the letter written to Thackeray, Gadkari has also mentioned ‘Tamaswada Pattern’ adopted in Wardha and Nagpur districts.
According to him, this initiative is an effort towards rainwater harvesting, conservation, and groundwater recharge. “These works are done on the basis of scientific and complete development of mini/micro watersheds, based on study of hydrogeology, topography, and civil engineering. Work is done essentially in the direction -- ridge to valley. Tamaswada Pattern is most helpful to create augmented storages of surface rain and ground water. It creates flood-free as well as drought-free situation in treated watershed,” he added. The works under this pattern are done in 40 villages, and under implementation in 60 villages of Nagpur and Wardha districts.
‘Form State Water Grid to beat floods’ Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, has urged Maharashtra Government to form State Water Grid to overcome floods and subsequent crisis. In the letter written to Uddhav Thackeray, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Gadkari suggested that the State Government should take up ambitious project of formation of State Water Grid on the lines of National Power Grid or Highway Grid. “The idea is to divert flood water from one river basin to the other river basin in drought-prone area of the State. State Water Grid can provide relief to areas with shortage of water and scanty rainfall,” he stated. According to Gadkari, State Water Grid will help in increasing the irrigation, which will lead to decline in number of farmers’ suicides. Also, the diverted flood water will relieve the stress on local resources. Transportation of goods and passengers through rivers by way of water transport initiative can be commenced in near future, he suggested. Fishing and other businesses can flourish alongside and major employment can be generated if such project is taken up as an essential infrastructure, he stressed. He urged Thackeray to take initiative for preparing detailed project report for formation of State Water Grid.