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Amidst a Water Crisis, This Punjab Village Is Receiving a National Award for Conservation Efforts!

Villagers of Man Aspal in Mansa, Punjab, are making the most of a government scheme to protect rural livelihoods.

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A small village in the Mansa district of Punjab has been given a national-level award for its successful efforts in water conservation.

As depleting groundwater levels deepen the water crisis across the state, residents of Man Aspal village are receiving national acclaim for constructing soak pits to hold water and equipping every village household with a septic tank.

The village has also renovated a pond, brick-lined a street and laid a drinking water pipeline giving access to clean drinking water to all residents.

Soak pits allow water to slowly soak into the ground through a porous-walled chamber. Photo Source: Flickr

Mansa Deputy Commissioner Dharampal Gupta and Man Aspal sarpanch Gurjant Singh told TOI, “The soak pit project, which deals with waste water management to make the villages drain free, was started in 2015 as a pilot with the support from a multinational company. Under the project, soak pits of four feet by 10 feet with a septic tank of three feet by four feet were constructed at the cost Rs 3.29 lakh in all the 65 houses.”


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The work is being carried out under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), an Indian labour law and social security measure that aims to guarantee the ‘right to work’.The MGNREGS Act aims at enhancing the livelihood security of people in rural areas by guaranteeing 100 days of wage-employment in a financial year to a rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.

MGNREGS commissioner C.Siban told TOI, “Man Aspal in Mansa has properly implemented the rural employment guarantee scheme with its USP being water conservation.”

The award was bestowed upon the village panchayat by Union Rural Development Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on June 19 in Delhi.

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Written by Lucy Plummer

Born in London, UK, Lucy has traveled the world before falling in love with India during a 9-month backpacking trip in 2016. She's passionate about humanity, culture, food and mountains.