Kusum Arora , Jalandhar, September 2:- Aimed at rejuvenating pristine ponds for increasing ground water table and 24X7 irrigation water supply, a group of volunteers have started a campaign at Baler Khanpur village to bring ponds back to life in this part of doaba belt. Farmers along with villagers and volunteers of Sant Daya Singh have joined hands to bring back the ponds back to life. While farmers have brought their tractors to dig mud, the volunteers have brought cranes to expedite the work.Sant Daya Singh from Gurdwara Tahli Sahib in Sultanpur Lodhi, who was leading this campaign said that the ponds would be dug up till the sand level of the land, so that rain water could be stored for irrigation purpose. “This pond would be rejuvenated within a week’s time. It would help in collecting rain water and rejuvenating not only the ponds but help in increasing the fast depleting ground water table in the region”, he said. He said that as per records, many streams of Sutlej river used to flow from this belt of Punjab. “In the olden days, village ponds use to serve as the sole and natural medium of storing excess rain water. But with the passage of time, these streams ceased to exist”, he said.“After rejuvenating the pond, it would be strictly ensured that no filth and polluted water was dumped into it. It would serve as a natural source of collecting rain water, which would recharge the ground water table for agricultural purposes”, Sant Daya Singh said, adding that all villages would be made to take part in this campaign. Gurwinder Singh Boparai, who was representing environmentalist Baba Balbir Singh’s organization said that there was a time, when flowing water bodies and ponds used to be the lifeline of Punjab. “But political interests not only ruined many water bodies but affected the environmental assets of Punjab. Drainage and upkeep of ponds ended up becoming a major cause of political tussles at many places”, he said.The volunteers said that a special plantation drive of traditional medicinal plants would be started in the second week of September. “We would bring back to life such ponds in many other villages, which would become a natural asset of the state. This is maiden initiative of setting up ponds in villages, so as to save water”, he added.
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