With an aim to conserve water, over 800 weirs (a low wall or dam built across a stream or river) have been constructed by villagers across Thane district in the past two months, an official said.
The construction of the weirs, done primarily in the villages under Murbad, Kalyan, Ambernath and Shahapur talukas, to collect flowing water in streams, rivers and rivulets has brought in considerable benefits to the farmers who are concerned about the coming months when they are likely face water shortage, Thane Zilla Parishad’s Deputy CEO and the programme’s nodal officer Ashok Patil said.
The aim is to construct 1,500 such weirs in Thane district, Patil said, adding, the programme is the brain child of Thane Zilla Parishad CEO Uday Choudhary.
The weirs, built by stacking up mud-filled gunny bags to make a sort of a small dam, would be useful for the villagers and farmers to provide them water for all kinds of use, including crop cultivation, he said.
“During a meeting in May this year chaired by District Collector Dr Ashwini Joshi, it was decided to involve all sections of society and the idea worked wonders and we got the support of one and all,” he said.
Officials from revenue department, gram sevaks, office bearers of village panchayats, teachers, students, etc came forward for ‘shramdaan’ in the programme, he said.
As of now, the total water stored in these weirs is around 551 TCM (thousand cubic meters), he said.
As the villagers have shown keen interest in the scheme, the Zilla Parishad has decided to construct at least 60 permanent weirs for storage of water in the near future, Patil said.
“We are not doing anything big, just collecting the flowing water which would have been otherwise a waste. What is required here is educating and convincing the villagers about the importance of such measures,” he said.