The Government of West Bengal has announced a Usharmukti Scheme to provide drought relief in drought affected districts in West Bengal. The objective of the scheme is to provide adequate water for irrigation and to increase ground water levels in the state. The work under the scheme is performed under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) Scheme.
The Usharmukti Scheme primarily focuses on the six drought affected districts in West Bengal such as Jhargram, Purulia, Bankura, Birbhum, Paschim Medinipur and Purba Bardhaman districts, covering 55 blocks, 472 gram panchayats and more than 2,000 watershed areas. The scheme will be implemented by the Panchyats and Rural Development Departments.
Total area of around 14 lakh hectors is covered under the scheme. The scheme is aimed to support agriculture in drought-prone districts specially during summer. The implementation of the scheme started from the Bankura districts where several initiatives were executed to increase the ground water level and improve the health of the rivers in the area which was a success following which the decision is taken to include other drought prone districts in the scheme.