Dhule district’s Shirpur taluka that was once regarded as drought-hit region has now become rich regarding water availability in spite of scanty rainfall. A cloud called Khanapurkar showered its praise on these villages and rivulets, streams started flowing full to the brim. The transformation that RSS swayamsevak Suresh Khanapurkar brought in these villages mesmerizes each and everyone who visits here. He has vowed to make the adjacent 80 sq km region free from drought and flood.Four years before, the condition of Shirpur was quite miserable. If the rains arrived on time, crops used to survive and in rainy season, farmers used to helplessly watch the crops that were washed away in flood. Now the situation has transformed. They earn minimum Rs 4 to 5 lakh in just 4 acres of plantation. Water is now available not in just one village, but in all the villages round the year. Water level in wells and bore wells has escalated. There is enough drinking water and even in harsh summer, water is available for farming. This is not a miracle but it is a result of the dedicated efforts taken by Suresh Khanapurkar by setting a particular goal in front of him.On the bank of Arunavati river in Shirpur, Suresh Khanapurkar is working with a simple idea of groundwater conservation. Being a geologist, his project has a scientific background. Because of his dedicated efforts, the drought hit regions like Shirpur have become fertile. Nullahs such as Nageshwar which used to be dry even in the rainy season are now filled full to the brim. Due to this, water table in the nearby region is also elevated. As a result, the wells and bore wells are yielding water at a few feet.Till now, no steps were taken for absorption of water into the land and the water was carelessly lifted. Hence the water level dropped. Filth started accumulating in the streams and rivulets. Their capacity to hold water decreased. As a result of this, during rainy season, rivulets and nullahs used to flow in full swing but came to a standstill as soon as the rains stopped. There was a need to change the situation and harvest the water so that it can be absorbed into the land. Khanapurkar accepted the challenge and his Herculean efforts yielded results. He planned to increase the breadth and depth of the rivulets and build the embankment so that the rain water will be harvested in maximum quantity. In addition to this, he also made the efforts to pour extra water from various places into the wells. The project is running since 2005. By employing huge machines, till now, the widening of 11 nullahs has been accomplished and the depth of 16.5 km long rivulets has also been increased to about 50 feet. 56 embankments have been constructed. Extra water from various placed is poured in about 78 wells. Three artificial ponds were also constructed.Angioplasty in water conservation: For water absorption, it is not just sufficient to dig rivulets and nullahs but it is also important to note at what level the water can be absorbed into the rock. If it is not taken into account, there is a great possibility of failure. Hence Khanapurkar’s focus is on eliminating the hindrances in the process of water absorption. He has named this process as angioplasty in water conservation.Like Shirpur, such development can be carried out in the entire state. Not only for drinking purpose, but the water can be also made available for farming, claims Khanapurkar. “In order to accelerate the work, each and every district should be provided with 20 pokland machines and seven dumpers that cost around Rs 22 crore. If the system is utilized in an effective manner, the entire district can be made fertile,” says Khanapurkar.Contact:Suresh KhanapurkarProject DirectorPriyadarshini Co-operative Spinning MillShirpur, (District Dhule)Phone: 025- 63251172Mobile: 09822363639E-mail: email@example.comHow to reach:By Rail: The nearest railway station is Jalgaon on Central Railway. From Jalgaon you have to go to Shirpur by road. Jalgaon-Dhule distance is 82 km.By Road: Shirpur is on Mumbai-Agra NH 3 and 52 km from Dhule.......
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