Envisaging Development Through Amrit Sarovars: A Study of Mann Ki Baat Cases for Revamping Water Storage and Conservation
Keywords:Mann ki Baat, Amrit Sarovar, Water Conservation, Community Mobilisation, Climate Proofing.
With a view to conserving water for the future, the initiative of Mission Amrit Sarovar was launched on 24 th April 2022. The mission aims at developing and rejuvenating 75 water bodies in each district of the country under the aegis of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. In this paper, the authors studied the cases of four Amrit Sarovars that found mention in Prime Minister’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ (MKB) program, dated 28 th August 2022 (92nd episode). The selected Amrit Sarovars are situated at Lalitpur (Uttar Pradesh), Mandla (Madhya Pradesh), Warangal (Telangana) and Bagalkote (Karnataka). These cases have not been well -documented and analysed and hence this paper attempts to highlight their impact in detail. Literature review indicated that ponds like Amrit Sarovars can be effective in climate -proofing and can help in adaptation to climate change. The authors examine the salient success factors for the development of the Amrit Sarovars, cost incurred and the source of funds, physical features, amenities present, availability of water, and impact on usage, post the mention on MKB program. Also, they assess the impact of Mann ki Baat on expansion of Amrit Sarovar initiative and consequently, impact of Amrit Sarovar on water storage and conservation, change in agricultural production and ecology around Amrit Sarovar and socio-cultural cohesion. The paper illustrates the way in which the mission involves community participation in the form of mobilising local residents to actively participate in the development and management of water bodies and formation of user groups. Lastly, the paper highlights a cross-case analysis for the indicators related to income generated and increase in irrigated area along with way forward for better utilisation of the Amrit Sarovars. It was found that the MKB address contributed substantially to expansion of the Amrit Sarovar initiative with some States coming forward to increase the number of Amrit Sarovars beyond the targets. An increase in enthusiasm was also found among the Amrit Sarovar stakeholders not only to better utilise the existing Amrit Sarovars but to expand their coverage in space and time, post the MKB address.
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