Farm ponds to build resilience against dry spells and check floods

During the annual labour budget preparation, village Rangole of Saraipali Gram Panchayat in Pali block of Korba district identified and prioritised pond (locally known as talab) at Chhuhi Munda site. The ST households living in the downstream area of the pond practice rain fed agriculture in a single season. Under the Infrastructure for Climate Resilient Growth (ICRG) programme funded by DFID, design modifications were proposed to make the pond climate resilient and to build adaptive capacity of the vulnerable households dependent on it.

IMPLEMENTATION

58The scoping visit revealed that the soil in the catchment area is sandy loam, which has high percolation rates and loss due to percolation of stored water in the pond will be high in initial years. Hence, the pond will act more like a percolation tank in the initial years and then serve the purpose of irrigation from the third year onwards. Accordingly, in the future, dug wells which will get recharged from the pond can be planned in the command area.

59The total cost of implementation of the talab is Rs. 6.36 lakh out of which Rs. 6 lakh is the cost of the implementation (as per design) and the remaining is the administrative cost. This equates to an estimated output cost of Re. 0.13 per liter for the construction of the talab, which is low compared to low density poly ethylene tank or brick/stone masonry tan.

The Chhui Munda pond is a dug out rectangular shaped unlined farm pond. The dimensions are 58m x 28m x 1.8m (LxWxD). The pond is in the midland of the farmland. The additional design modifications proposed by ICRG include – construction of a silt trap chamber because the pond will work as a percolation tank for the first few years; inlet and outlet construction in a step form for safe flow of water intake and discharge. It was also suggested that the inner slope of the tank be maintained at 1:1.5 and outer side slope 1:2 to enhance the stability of bund and durability of asset. Finally, plantation and grass pitching to be done on the outer sides of bund to check erosion.

Silt trap chamber and steps in the inlet are to be constructed for safe inflow of runoff. It will also minimise the siltation of the pond and maintain its capacity. Similarly, outlet with steps will protect soil erosion from outflow of excess water. Bunds on the side slopes and grass pitching will ensure stability and durability of the pond. Plantation of local forestry species like acacia will help in stabilising the soil as well as provide fuel wood for the households.

IMPACT

The pond has a dimension of 58mX28mX1.8m with 6 steps, 0.3 m each and an estimated storage capacity of 2800m3. It has the potential to provide life-saving irrigation to 2.8 ha of paddy crop which is a major crop of Korba cultivated during kharif season, in case of intermittent drought spells. Further, in case of normal weather conditions, the pond has the potential to irrigate 0.4 ha land during rabi season.

Further, 90 % of the cost of the pond will be spent on earth work that will create 3,419 person-days of unskilled employment. Since this pond is a community asset, approximately 10 ST families will get direct benefits of harvested surface water and the pond can also be used to provide drinking water for cattle. Construction of the pond will not only provide life-saving irrigation to the kharif crop but also provide irrigation for rabi crop, which will sustain and improve the farm revenues of the beneficiary households belonging to Scheduled Tribes.

 

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