A look at the traditional harvesting techniques used across the country.india Updated: May 16, 2003 18:52 IST
In western Rajasthan where the soil is sandy and porous, loss of stored water (in tanks) by evaporation and seepage is very high. A rapat is a percolation tank with a bund or small enbankment meant to impound water flowing from any kind of watershed. It is generally built of masonry or simply earth. It is found in many parts of Maharashtra as well.
In Western Deccan (Maharashtra in particular), an earthern or masonry dam across a river or a stream is called a bandhara. It is generally built in a series across the length of a river, the idea being to lift the water level to a height from which they can be further diversified into irrigation channels. They were found especially in the hilly areas of Khandesh and Nashik districts, Sholapur, Ahmadnagar, Kolhapur, Satara and Pune areas.
In northwestern Maharashtra this system of irrigation is very popular. It operates on four rivers - Panjhra, Kan, Mosam and Aram - all tributaries of Tapi river. This system comprises of a bandhara, a small canal with distributaries and irrigated land which is divided into four sections - Babhule, Kamode, Shiva Khet and Akhre with each growing a particular crop always.