People’s barrage transforms village economy

An exemplary case of self – mobilized community building Chikkapadasalgi
barrage in Karnataka

BACKGROUND

Vijayapur district of Karnataka is blessed with five rivers: Krishna, Malaprabha, Ghataprabha, Bhima, and Doni. However, the district remained drought-prone and hence, economically backward. Agricultural and livestock development has not been able to reach its full potential. A ‘people’s dam’ was built across the river Krishna near Chikkapadasalagi village in Vijayapur to store and impound the river water, to be used by people on either side of the barrage for drinking and agricultural purposes, and
also meet the requirements of Jamakhand town. This would help provide drinking water to human beings and cattle and create irrigation facilities for the lands on either side of the Krishna River in Karnataka, leading to enhancement of agricultural and livestock production, and improved livelihoods.

STAKEHOLDERS

The project witnessed a wave of support across all sections of the society. It was funded, constructed, managed and owned by the farmer-beneficiaries under the banner of Krishna Theera Ryot Sangha (KTRS) with Shri Siddu Nyamagouda, a local farmer playing a leadership role. KTRS mobilized people, money, and materials required for completion of the project. Several government officials guided and assisted the project to take shape. Irrespective of their economic and social background, men and women came forward to construct the barrage. Many social and religious groups and voluntary organizations contributed for completion of this project. Engineers from the locality working in far-off places like Mumbai left their jobs and voluntarily joined in the construction of the barrage.

APPROACH & METHODOLOGY

The story is a source of inspiration in mobilizing funds, human resources and materials. Contribution included:
a) Contributions from the farmer-beneficiaries: INR 500 per horsepower of irrigation pump set;
b) Donations from the general public, educational and religious institutions, associations of merchants, weavers, employees, advocates and Zilla Panchayats;
c) Financial assistance from the Council for Advancement of Peoples’ Action and Rural Technology (CAPART ); and,
c) Labour, money and materials (wood, steel, stone, cement, transportation facilities) from the people.

Construction work of barrage was taken up in two phases: January-May 1988 and January-June, 1989. Technical details of the barrage are given in Table 1.

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Screenshot (34)

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