This report by the Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh, provides information on Neeru Meeru, a water conservation and poverty alleviation inititaive undertaken by the governemnt of Andhra Pradesh. With the experience of few years and based on recommendations of various experts, the Andhra Pradesh government decided to launch a focused onslaught on the man made phenomenon of drought and water shortage in the state.
Thus, focus was laid on sustainable developmental effort with emphasis on holistic planning on river basin/sub-basin through convergence of various departments at the state, district and sub-district levels. For ensuring convergence of the efforts of the concerned departments and to promote water conservation in an aggressive manner, the government brought all water conservation activities into a campaign mode and christened the same as Neeru-Meeru meaning Water and You.
The government launched Neeru-Meeru or the 1st of May, 2000 coinciding with 12th round of Janmabhoomi. The concept of Neeru-Meeru envisages creation of awareness amongst the people to ensure their participation and to facilitate conservation efforts of various government departments. The departments involved in Neeru-Meeru programme are:
- Rural development
- Major irrigation
- Medium irrigation
- Minorirrigation ( I and CAD)
- Minor irrigation (PR)
- Rural water supply (PR)
- Municipal administration and urban development
Salient features of Neeru-Meeru are:
- Rainwater harvesting works
- Mobilisation of financial resources
- Prioritisation of areas
- Water conservation and utilisation committees
- State level technical committee
- Quality improvement
- Water audit
- Cover crops
- Netherlands assisted project
Awareness building and people's participation
- Awareness building measures
- Involvement of SHgs in Neeru-Meeru
- Other measures
Quantitative progress of the works
- During Phase-I (1-4-2000 to 20-8-2000) of Neeru-Meeru an additional volume of 801.42 lakh.cums of space was created for recharge through the construction of 4,23,976 structures with the financial involvement Rs.19017.930 lakhs.
- During Phase-II (1-11-2000 to 30-4-2001) of Neeru-Meeru an additional volume of 1172.066 lakh.cums of space was created for recharge through the construction of 387751 structures with the financial involvement of Rs.16855.530.
- During Phase-III (1-5-2001 to 30-9-2001) of Neeru-Meeru as on 9-9-2001 an additional filling space of 1046.030 lakh.cums of additional space is created for recharge by the construction of 7,31,956 numbers of conservation structures with the financial involvement of Rs.28,135.050 lakh.
Impact of Neeru Meeru
The Ground Water department has been conducting impact analysis studies of works taken up under Neeru-Meeru on the status of ground water levels and found that:
- Despite 7% deficit rainfall the ground water levels registered a rise of 0.19 to 6.34 meters in ground water levels.
- Dried up seasonal borewells reduced from 17627 to 12605 (April / May 2000 to April / May 2001).
- Drinking water transportation habitations reduced from 1083 to 740 (May 2000 to 2001).
- Out of the annual rainfall recharge (normal) 777 tmc, the additional recharge due to Neeru-Meeru is estimated as 77 tmc.
The impact analysis at micro level indicated quick response to rainfall in the form of buildup in water levels wherever considerable volume of work was taken up under Neeru-Meeru.