Water conservation structures have regularly been prioritized under MGNREGS especially in areas that practice rain-fed agriculture. In Arcot block of Vellore district, the focus of MGNREGA is to address the issue of water scarcity and uplift the under privileged people and provide them with sustainable source of income. Individual farm ponds allow farmers to harvest rainwater for dry seasons and control wastage. On flatter land in the village, streams are not deep, nor do they have high embankments making it difficult to build water harvesting structures, like earthen dams. On such flat lands, farm ponds are a preferred water-harvesting solution and serve to provide protective irrigation to crops.
In a bid to achieve protective irrigation on flatter lands, a number of farm ponds on private land have been taken up in 2016 under MGNREGS. Elango s/o Krishnan, is one such beneficiary in the Essaiyanur Gram Panchayat of Arcot block. At an estimated cost of Rs 74,000 for unskilled manual work and 360 person-days, a 1,44,000 litres capacity farm pond has been constructed in his name. The size of farm pond is 12m X 12m X 1m. The farm pond plays a vital role in storing excess supply of water during the rainy season. Additionally Sri Elango has started fish farming in the farm pond.
Through sale of katla fish in the pond, the beneficiary is already earning approximately Rs.35,000/- per annum. The farm pond further allows him to utilize nearby land for cultivation of fruits and vegetables such as banana, coconuts etc. This has further augmented his annual to the tune of Rs 1.25 lakh.