The State Government has taken up an ambitious Scheme namely Jalatirtha in the year 2014-15 in the arid zone of the State in the districts of Bankura, Birbhum, Purulia and PaschimMedinipur. The main objective of the scheme is to conserve surface andrain water to provide round the year assured irrigation to the communities in theScheme area by construction of Check Dams, Water Harvesting Structures andSurface Flow Minor Irrigation Schemes.
Apart from irrigation, the Scheme will alsohelp in preventing soil erosion and recharge ground water aquifers to protect theenvironment apart from improving production and productivity of the agricultureand will also help in taking up allied activities like fishery, duckery and animal feeding etc.
Around 800 structures like Check Dams (CD), Water Harvesting Tank/ Structures(WHT) and Surface Flow Minor Irrigation Schemes (SFMIS) will be constructed under Jalatirtha, which will help to irrigate an area of 32,000 hectares, to produce additionalagricultural output andto generate man-days significantly. Small & Marginal farmers of the said area are likely to bebenefitted. Total cost of the Scheme will be around Rs.500 cores.
The Scheme isbeing implemented by six Departments of the State namely, Water ResourcesInvestigation & Development (527), Public Works (CD-93), Panchayat & Rural Development (CD-13), Forest (CD-45), Irrigation & Waterways (CD-96) and PaschimanchalUnnayan Affairs (CD-64).
Up to December-2015, 127 schemes (CD-13, WHT-66, SFMIS-48) have been completed by WRI&DD with Irrigation Potential of 3669 ha in these districts.