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Create check dam to save water, earn votes - JMM sets twin agenda in East Singhbhum

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  • Published 19.03.12

Jamshedpur, March 18: The JMM, in an effort to kill two birds with one stone, has launched a campaign to help people store water during summer by creating temporary check dams on the rivers of East Singhbhum to shore up its vote bank in the district.

An initiative of district president of the party Ramesh Hansda, the JMM has already built check dams on the Kharkai at Adityapur and Sankh River at the Naxalite-hit Dumaria area in Ghatshila.

“We are trying to identify big drains as well as other water sources to build check dams. The government may be doing its bit, but we also have to take an initiative for the betterment of people,” Hansda told The Telegraph.

Members of the party’s district cadre worked for hours on end to complete the check dam in Dumaria, 55km from Jamshedpur, on Thursday.

Plastic sacks filled with sand were used to build the 200ft-long dam. Villagers also chipped in to help the JMM members, some holding aloft the party flag, who left from the steel city during the day.

“We placed three layers of sacks to store the flowing water. This will help the villagers in terms of irrigation and also keep the groundwater level in control during the summer when rivers go dry. Moreover, hand pumps will also not run dry,” Hansda added.

Farmers can draw the stored water through pumps to irrigate land. A JMM functionary pointed out that Jharkhand receives 1,400mm rainfall annually, but a huge quantity of water goes waste due to the absence of sufficient check dams.

The JMM is also looking at taking up check dam projects on other rivers and drains in East Singhbhum. “We are encouraging our workers and also convincing and soliciting support from senior leaders. I am sure our campaign will send the right message to the government,” the JMM district chief said, adding that Jharkhand lacks a proper water storage mechanism.

Senior JMM leader and former deputy chief minister Sudhir Mahto, who is also supporting the campaign, said, “Storing water is essential keeping in mind a likely harsh summer. We will create more such check dams.”

Asked why the initiative was not begun earlier, Hansda said he had been in touch with a few intellectuals who came up with the suggestions.

“We discussed the idea with some of our senior leaders who promised support. JMM believes in working for the benefit of the people. Water is an essential part in everyone’s life,” Hansda, who was recently elected district president, said.

For the record, JMM currently has two (Baharagora and Ghatshila) of the six Vidhan Sabha seats in East Singhbhum in its kitty.