10. What efforts were made to get water-storage schemes launched so that the village-committees of water-storage project might get strength and motivation to proceed ahead?

10If we wish to bring a water storage revolution all over Gujarat, we must seek the co-operation of the government. At that time the government had not launched any scheme or project for the storage of water. As no projects were launched, the government had not allotted any funds for it. We started our efforts in that direction. We made efforts to convince the government to launch a water storage project. We made presentations at proper places. It was desirable that farmers from all the villages should get involved in the project and the project should be launched and completed in an efficient and proper way.

            We studied each and every aspect of the project to be launched and prepared its Model. We wished that all the work related to the project must be assigned to the Village Committee alone and no contractor should be involved in it. Check-dams’ structure should be prepared and it should successfully pass the quality test. The government should invest 60% of funds in the project and 40% of funds should be contributed by the Village Committee. As there would be no mediator at any stage of the project, the Village Committee would get its payment easily. We presented to the then chief minister Mr. Keshubhai Patel a 60%-40% contribution model of the project involving 60% and 40% contribution by the government and the Village Committee respectively. Mr. Keshubhai Patel liked and approved of this model and immediately instructed the irrigation minister Mr. Nitinbhai Patel to implement it. Within a short period of 1 month Mr. Nitinbhai Patel launched “Sardar Sahbhagi Jal Sanchay Yojna” and started 60%-40% water storage project. Village Committees of all the villages willingly joined in this project which aimed at building dams worth Rs. 6 lacs.