theindialog

September 2, 2009

Notes From Israma: Mineral Water Plant & NREGS

Filed under: Economics,Gujarat,NREGS — loggers @ 5:08 pm

Reverse Osmosis Water Plant

After seeing the Amul operation at Israma, the sarpanch (head) of the village took us to a “mineral water plant” installed in the community. We learnt that an ex-resident of the village, who is now settled abroad, had donated an INR 250,000 reverse osmosis water plant to the community. Water from the plant is sold for INR 0.25/liter to the villagers who use it for all domestic purposes. Revenue generated from sales is used for maintenance. The low price makes clean water an affordable utility and reduces wastage of a precious resource. Moreover, the practice of making regular payments for utilities is a positive step towards good civic discipline. Lastly, clean water will reduce the incidence/spread of water-borne diseases. We thought this was a remarkable initiative which could be replicated in other villages across the country.

RO Plant Installed In Israma

RO Plant Installed In Israma

NREGS

We learnt that the NREGS has not taken off in Israma. The numbers confirm this fact. 3 factors explain this phenomenon:

  1. Literacy rates are high in the village and majority of the youth move to urban areas in search for skilled jobs.
  2. Physical infrastructure in Gujarat is much better relative to other states in the country. Therefore, there is little (if any) need for locals to work on infrastructure projects.
  3. Primary sector employment and opportunities to generate a supplementary income (think Amul) are abundant.
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