State’s DharaVikasproject conferredSkoch Gold Award

New Delhi, 23 Jun [IPR]: The DharaVikas initiative of Rural Management &Development Department, Government of Sikkim has been awarded with the “Skoch Gold Award” in water sector for the year 2018. The award was presented at the Constitution Club in New Delhi on 22 Jun.

Additional Secretary cum Project Director, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act [MGNREGA],SarikaPradhan,Officer on Special Duty, RM&DD,DrSubashDhakal, and State DharaVikas Coordinator,PemNorbu Sherpa received the award.

The award is an initiative of Skoch Group, a think tank dealing with socio-economic issues with a focus on inclusive growth since 1997. The group companies include a consulting wing, a media wing and a charitable foundation.

It may be mentioned here, the DharaVikas initiative had to qualify in various parameters namely early bird, stringent expert evaluation, presentation before jury and popular vote.

As part of climate change adaptation and recognizing the urgent need for ensuring water security, RM&DD conceptualised the DharaVikas initiative to revive the State’s drying lakes, springs and streams back in 2008. The core thrust of DharaVikas is to catch the surface runoff water and use it to recharge groundwater sources.

The initiative was launched under the centrally sponsored MGNREGA with technical support from other government agencies and organisations like WWF – India, People’s Science Institute, Dehradun,Advanced Center for Water Resources Development & Management [ACWADAM], Pune and Centre for Advance Computing [CDAC], Pune.

The initiative focuses on the drought prone Gram Panchayats of South and West districts. It has helped to revive more than 60 springs and revived two dried-up lakes to its natural state and de-concretised hill top lakes and converted into recharge structures.

Till date 630 hectares of technically identified recharge areas has been covered with recharge intervention. More than 2500 springs have been mapped in GIS platform and developed an android based Spring Data management system.

The RM&D Department is currently working on hydrological decision support software in collaboration with CDAC Pune under the supervision of IIT Delhi. The department has initiated intensive research investigation to understand the hydro-geological characteristics of aquifer system in the Mid Hills in collaboration with CDAC, Pune and Geologists from University of Pune.