September 06, 2016
In 2009, a random idea given by a villager from Bahraich has changed the way to fight with floods in the state. The idea was first recognised by Uttar Pradesh Planning Department, and was adopted by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. The idea has been doing wonders for the last few years, in nearly 300 villages of Bahraich and many other villages of Uttar Pradesh.
The idea called ‘elevated hand pumps’ that has been implemented under a state committee headed by Akhilesh Yadav. Before the onset of monsoon this year, a total of 2549 hand-pumps across 21 districts have been raised above the highest flood level, making it biggest self-sufficient potable water management for the flood hit areas in the world.
Idea of Installing Hand Pumps
The idea was given by Bhaggu (69) from Sohras village in Kaiserganj district of Bahraich. He says, “Since the age of 5, I remember that Ghagra flooded my village every year and the government has been a mute spectator of our sufferings.” His main concern is the availability of drinking water during floods. “During floods, we have water everywhere, but not a drop of potable water. All wells, ponds, taps or hand pumps get submerged. When floods occur, government machinery or NGOs distribute food packets, tarpaulin, kerosene, match-boxes, but no one ever bothers to do something for drinking water.” There an unidentified farmer sitting with folded hands suggested, “What if we raise existing hand-pumps from their ground level above highest flood level.”
The idea looked appealing, and the concerned department realised that it did not require formulation of any new project but would only need elevation of the existing hand-pumps with minor funds.
Successful Implementation of the Idea
The district administration formed a team from Jal Nigam’s flood division. The engineers designed a prototype for elevated hand-pumps with a broad base to withstand flood water pressure. And in 4 months, drawing funds from the respective panchayats, raised 300 existing hand pumps in many villages above the HFL.
Now, when floods sweep any village that has elevated hand pumps, the villagers get potable water by reaching these hand pumps.
CM’s ‘Hand-Pumps’ team comprising officers from Jal Nigam, Panchayat Raj, Rural Development and Rural Engineering Services worked upon it, and created a WhatsApp group of officers in all the 21 districts for day-to-day monitoring of the progress.
Uttar Hamara will keep you posted for more interesting stories!