It is May 2003. The Women of Ashtur Village in Bidar Taluk have to spend a major part of the day looking for water. All the open wells in the village and the big lake have gone dry. children were helping their mothers in the search for water. All day long they had to search for water. It was a common site in the village to see people moving with empty pots in hand There was no econimic activity, drought had brought life to a halt.
Exactly a year later, there is greenery all around the village. There is sufficient water in the open wells. Women are busy at home and men on the farms and children are in school. The fact that rainfall has been deficient does not bother them. The change in the village can be attributed to the work of the Zilla Panchayat Engineers who built a check dam across the village stream. The cost of bringing the transformation in the lives of the people was just Rs. 2.5 lakhs.
This water is expected to be sufficient at least till the next years rains. Other than recharging the nearby wells, it will also ensure that the source of borewells in the village does not dry up. says Shri N. S. Patil, Assistant Executive Engineer, ZP., Sub division, Bidar.
Ashtur is not an isolated village. The story holds good in 81 Villages beacaue of the innovatively shaped check dams.
It was under the able leadership of Mr. Naveen Raj Singh IAS, the then Chief Executive Officer of Zilla Panchayat( 2003 to 2005) the whole new concept under the watershed development started. He himself being a Civil Engineer conceived the design of first ever Inclined-Buttress check dam. The task of reinforcement and stability design was given to the then Executive Engineer Mr. Mallikarjun Gunge. Site selection, Public motivation , suitable plantations and other watershed activities were implemented by D.C.F Mr. Manoj Kumar. He along with other engineers of Zilla Panchayat started making these check dams in large numbers.
This idea further evolved into Multiple Arch Check Dam(M.A.C.D).
Latest improvement in this technology is Single Arch Check Dam.
This has been successfully tried and tested in high rise big check dams across the globe , Mr. Naveen explains. Iddukki-Dam in kerala (INDIA) is one such example. This technology at such micro level is probably being tried for the first time.
Single Arch Check Dam has further reduced the cost by 20 %.In the words of Mr. Naveen if this is adopted at large scale ( in terms of number) it can very effectively solve the water supply problem of rural area which are dependent upon ground water resource ( open well or bore well). Bidar is an example.
In 2003 before he joined , District administration Bidar had spent approximately 75 lakh rupees on transportation of water to villages during summer season. This year i.e 2007 only one village is being supplied water that is also because of reasons other than water scarcity.
( all photos of various type of check dam have been displayed on the site for reference . any query can be sent on naveenrs at yahoo dot com )
1) Construction Cost is Rs 5800/ running metre length, where as in the conventional designs used till now it will be Rs 15000/- to Rs 20,000 per running metre length.
2) A 10 mt check dam would cost Rs. 58000 were as a 10 mt check dam as per the conventional design would cost 1.5 Lakhs to 2 Lakhs.
3) Life expectancy of Arch Butress check Dam is 100 years.
4) Horizontal thurst of water is resisted by the arch action of the arches, which uniformly transfer the load to the butresses.
5)The butress are supported on the mat or a raft foundation. In soft soil foundation the butresses are supported on a spread footing.
6) To prevent the flow/seepage underneath the check dam, a cutoff wall with miniumum reinforcement is provided at the upstream edge of the foundation.