In a monumental achievement, the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) in Tirupathur district, Tamil Nadu, has set a new world record by constructing 1546 farm ponds in just 30 days. The initiative was undertaken as a part of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), with the primary goal of enhancing groundwater potential, harvesting rain water during monsoon and providing sufficient water for agricultural purposes, especially during the dry summer months. This innovative effort has garnered recognition from prestigious record-keeping organizations, including Elite World Records, Asian Records Academy, India Records Academy, and Tamilan Book of Records.
Facing recurring challenges of water scarcity during the summer, the district administration, under the leadership of District Collector D. Baskarapandian, embarked on a visionary project to create farm ponds across the district’s 208 Village Panchayats. The project was implemented with an approximate budget of Rs. 30.92 Crores, with each farm pond costing around Rs. 2 lakhs. This comprehensive strategy aimed to improve groundwater recharge and harvest rainwater efficiently, providing a long-term solution to the water-related issues faced by farmers in the region.
The success of this ambitious endeavour is attributed to meticulous micro-level planning and strong community involvement. The project began with brainstorming sessions involving the DRDA team, farmers, and experts. After receiving guidance from key figures such as PWD Minister EV. Velu, the project gained momentum and support from all corners. Rigorous discussions, meetings, and workshops were held to educate stakeholders about the farm pond creation process and its significance, said D.Baskarapandian, the district collector.
The District Collector further elaborated on the meticulous planning of the farm pond project. He emphasized that the project was aligned with the visionary approach of our Chief Minister, who has championed rainwater harvesting as a critical step towards sustainable development. The three-tier internal verification process ensured the strategic positioning of the farm ponds to fulfill local agricultural water needs while also bolstering groundwater recharge. Daily progress checks and unwavering dedication from 38,650 MGNREGS workers over 30 days played a pivotal role in translating this vision into a remarkable reality.
- Valarmathi, District Revenue Officer, highlighted the farm ponds’ significance. They ensure reliable water supply for farmers during dry months, reinforcing agriculture. She stressed their strategic positioning, catering to immediate water needs while recharging groundwater. This enhances regional water resilience, benefitting the community’s sustainability. Valarmathi also underlined the ponds’ role in mitigating drought impacts by offering a dependable water source, safeguarding livelihoods. She expressed deep gratitude to the District Collector for his dedicated leadership, essential for this achievement. The collaboration of officials, communities, and experts, she noted, was pivotal in realizing this feat.
K.Selvarasu, Project Director of the District Rural Development Agency, elaborated that these ponds function as a protective barrier against soil erosion. By curbing soil loss and preserving the quality of the topsoil, they significantly enhance agricultural productivity. Moreover, the ready availability of water creates avenues for diversifying crops, thereby augmenting income prospects and propelling economic growth. Additionally, these farm ponds serve as a crucial buffer during droughts, enabling uninterrupted cultivation even in adverse conditions, and thereby safeguarding local livelihoods. Selvarasu expressed heartfelt gratitude to the District Collector for providing unwavering leadership and guidance throughout this monumental project.
S.Vijayakumari, Assistant Director, Panchayat, detailed that the farm ponds bring invaluable benefits to beneficiaries and the community. For farmers, they ensure water supply in dry periods, enable diverse crops for increased income, and provide resilience against droughts. For the community, ponds enhance water availability, protect soil quality, and promote sustainable agriculture, ultimately fostering economic growth and wellbeing, she further added.
Representatives from Elite World Records, Asian Records Academy, India Records Academy, and Tamilan Book of Records were present to witness and authenticate the project’s success. The farm ponds created in multiple locations within the district have not only earned it a place in the record books but have also garnered admiration and respect from both local communities and water management experts.
The project’s extensive influence in securing water for agriculture and groundwater recharge establishes a precedent for regions facing comparable challenges. The relentless contributions of the DRDA team, dedicated MGNREGS workers, and all stakeholders have reshaped water management in Tirupathur district. As this feat inspires and raises new benchmarks, it underscores the potential of community-led initiatives for driving positive rural transformation. This project stands as a perpetual asset, not only for the district and state but also sets a benchmark for the nation and the global community.
Elite World records
Asian Records Academy
India Records Academy
Rain water Harvesting
Maximum Farm Ponds
Save Rain Water