A very popular motto goes “Self-help is the best help” which emphasizes the importance of self-initiative. The very fact has been proven by the farmers from Baheri District of Uttar Pradesh. They have taken a self-initiative to construct a dam.
History of the dam
The dam was constructed under British rule. It collapsed in 1990. The farmers started facing irrigation-related issues since then. After the incident, six MLAs were elected from Baheri but they failed to pay attention to the farmer’s request for getting a ‘pucca dam’.
The farmers from over 25 villages collected around Rs 70,000 while the other villagers contributed in kinds. The construction of this dam has begun on 17th October 2016 by using mud and sand bags. The dam will be ready by 28th October 2016. It is said to be 98-feet-long and 20-feet-wide.
Delay from government authorities
“Before 1990, the district administration used to construct a kutcha dam every rabi season. Dring the monsoon, the dam was not able to stand and was always remade just before winter. But after it got collapsed in 1990, the construction of the dam was stopped due to increased input cost. We had asked state government and even sent a proposal to them in 2014 for constructing a pucca dam but the proposal is still pending.” says SS Awasthi, Chief development officer (CDO), as reported by The Times of India.
He also said that the villagers had informed him about the construction of the dam with public participation at Tehra village and they will be starting the same work in neighboring Khamariya village from Friday.
Water Crisis and Deterioration of crops
The farmers of the Baheri village had been facing irrigation-related problems since last two decades. After several requests to the administration and waiting for the government to build the dam in their village, the farmers took a self-initiative to built the dam.
The farmers had been facing a lot of irrigation-related problems which would damage the crops. After the dam was collapsed the water was scarce for irrigation and that would deteriorate the quality of the crops.
Persuasion by former MLA
The former MLA and chief of Kisan Kalyan Samiti, Jaideep Singh Barar persuaded villagers to take the matter in their hands and construct a dam on their own.
“We met the officials but they told us that we would not be able to make a dam here on our own. We proved them wrong and after completing the construction here in Tehra village, we will now construct a dam at Khamariya village,” said Barar as reported by The Times of India.
Even though the farmers have constructed the dam, they want the administration to ensure its safety.
A farmer Khalil Ahmad said that the officials never paid attention to their request and now when the dam is constructed they are visiting the site.