Gaalmukt Dharan, Gaalyukt Shivar (Tank Desiltation) Scheme in Maharashtra, India: Policy Concerns and the Way Forward
Dipak Zade et. al.
Senior Researcher (Social Science & Climate Change Adaptation),
WOTR Centre for Resilience Studies (W-CReS),
2nd floor, The Forum,
Maharashtra, India. email@example.com
In the state of Maharashtra, since the last few years of recurrent drought and low rainfall, there is a strong push for desiltation activities of water reservoirs, mainly the percolation and irrigation tanks. The state administration, corporates with their CSR fund, many NGOs and CBOs are aggressively engaged in desiltation activities through the removal of silt by machines and its application in agriculture land by farmers. To support and promote these efforts, the government of Maharashtra came with a supportive program for desiltation known as Gaalmukt Dharan and Gaalyukt Shivar (GDGS) Yojana. Although the popular media highlights the benefits of the scheme and desiltation work, there is a lack of systematic and scientific study of the desiltation activities and overall critical analysis of the functioning of GDGS. By making detailed interdisciplinary analysis of seven tanks desilted in Marathwada region of Maharashtra, this paper provides the necessary recommendations to modify the existing policy provisions in implementing the GDGS. The paper proposes the urgent need for appropriate and adequate policy instruments to address the overall desiltation activities and need for convergence of GDGS in mainstream watershed development programmes. This is necessary because the increasing desiltation activities of water reservoirs in the near future is certainly going to be an important issue in the state and a concern for environmental sustainability.