A four-day in-person exposure visit was facilitated from April 3-7, for a delegation of eight administrators from Rajasthan state administrative departments on the key outcomes of the Water Security and Climate Adaptation (WASCA) project sites in Tamil Nadu. Thiru. Pratap Singh – IAS., Additional Commissioner, Thiru Abhishek Surana – IAS., CEO – Jodhpur and Thiru Dipendra Singh Rathore – IAS., CEO-Dungarpur were the important delegates. The major objective of the visit was to acquire planning skills and a practical understanding of the Composite Water Resource Management (CWRM) and GIS work processes carried out through the WASCA project in Tiruvannamalai and Ramanathapuram districts.
On April 3, the team visited the MSSRF office in Chennai. Dr Rengalakshmi R, Director of Ecotechnology and Mr Nagarajan, Head-GIS, briefed the process and outcomes of the WASCA project from the districts of Ramanathapuram and Tiruvannamalai as well as on the CWRM tool, online tool, and web portal.
They travelled to the Tiruvannamalai District on April 4, and visited the Community Farm Pond, Greening of Hillocks (GoH), Massive Tree Plantation, Contour Continuous Trenches, and a recharge shaft. In addition to discussing the schedule, method, and budget for the projects, they also discussed the possibility of adopting the GoH programme in Rajasthan. The team visited a model nursery in Sananandhal GP, where all necessary infrastructure is integrated including vermicomposting and silvi-pasture to produce one lakh saplings annually, and showed interest in the variety and quantity of saplings grown in the nursery.
Ramanathapuram District was the next stop, and on April 6 and 7, they explored the district nursery, river bund stabilisation through the Miyawaki plantation method, horticulture park, and floriculture park. They observed greywater management through community and individual soak pits, collection and segregation methods at the household level, as well as segregation sheds for degradable and non-degradable waste. During the visit, they saw a community TANKA – a Rajasthan model for rainwater harvesting for drinking water, and made recommendations for minor modifications to improve effectiveness.
The team met with Thiru Johny Tom Varghese IAS., Ramanathapuram District Collector, Additional Collector (Development), BDOs, President and Secretary of village panchayats and understood more about the implementation of WASCA-village-level plans, livelihood programmes, the convergence of government schemes like MGNREGS, and financial mobilisation for nurseries and forests. The district authorities also provided information on the budget allocation under MGNREGS, income generation for panchayats, and the role of women SHGs in the project. They also visited the Thadanenthal GP’s Panchayat Level Livelihood Activity Centre and SHG product sales outlets.