drought-hitmission paanimonsoontamil nadu water scarcity First Published: July 3, 2019, 5:39 PM IST | Edited by: Sohini Goswami Chennai: In drought-hit Vellore district, over 20,000 women have been recruited to work on a project that would help recharge wells in the district that would further help increase groundwater during monsoons. The project was initiated in 2014-2015 when the district administration had set a target to recharge 4,828 wells. So far, 2300 wells have been rejuvenated. Each well is 20ft deep and 6ft wide and the cost involved to recharge a well is Rs 80,000 to Rs. 1 lakh. At Gudiyatham town that has wells every 500m, several women are busy working to recharge them. They work from 8am to 2pm every day and get Rs 160-180 per day. The women are happy to be a part of this project as they have been grappling with water crisis for at least five years now.One of these woman, B Bhuvaneshwari, said, “We have been facing acute water shortage for over eight years. But we are hopeful that through this initiative, we will have more water eventually, especially after monsoons.”“Whenever it used to rain, we used to fill as many buckets as possible so that we get to use the the water to clean vessels and wash clothes. We hope the next time it rains, the recharged well will help increase the water levels so that we don’t face water crisis later,” adds Kuttiamma, another worker. These women are hopeful the recharged wells would improve local farmers’ livelihood as well.“We don’t get enough water to meet our family’s daily requirements. How can we feed cows and goats? Every farmer here owns at least one cow. If the farm land is dry, what will the cows graze on? We had three cows and we bought them each for Rs 30,000. We then sold them off for Rs 20,000. However, we hope that farming would be revived once the monsoons begin,” added Bhuvaneshwari.Local said that during 2017 monsoon season, the water level had increased from 6ft to at least 10ft and this time too, once all the wells are recharged, the upcoming monsoons would help increase the water level by at least 10ft.