Unique irrigation system of Cuncolim village in Goa under threat

Twelve Bhands of Cuncolim:

With the summer approaching the water level in some of the Cuncolim
wells is decreasing….it is because the traditional 12 bhands system –
were water was harvested to increase the level of water in the village
wells has not been followed.

The villagers fear that the old system has crashed in some places and
have demanded that the Cuncolim Municipality or Water Resources
department of the Goa government step in to construct the 12 bhands on
a regular basis every year in the month of October.

Here   Roland Martins of the Goa Civic &
Consumer Action Network (GOACAN) talks about the need to build the

It may be noted that Cuncolim, in Indian state of Goa has an
interesting irrigation system - Bara Bhand (twelve bunds) that are
named Zogla bandh, Uskinibandh, Molle -bandh, Vedebandh, Sallebandh
,Folleabandh and Dothra bandh (on the Northern and Eastern sides).
Chireabhandh, Oddabandh, Fontibandh, Dugalebandh, Pairabandh and
Novobandh on Southern and Western side.

 Small dams that are built annually in the month of October with mud,
twigs and coconut stem hold or collect water in the streams that
encircle the villages of Cuncolim & Veroda. The water collected is
used for the production of Vangana (Khazana/saline) crop.

The water reservoir "Novo Bandh" used to supply water to the
neighbouring villages of Assolna, Ambelim and Velim. The bandh is
situated between two hills. The Portuguese rebuilt it around 1880 when
the old one had collapsed. At that time the surrounding areas were
flooded and cattle and goats, washed away. Although rebuilt about
hundred years ago, it is still called Novo Bandh-new bund. Initially
the local Panchayat maintained the reservoir. Each year an auction for
opening and closing the tank known as "Vagzuem Tanki" was conducted.

But things are changing …with people demanding construction of bhands
to tide over the water supply in the village and government steeping
in builds the bhands. the recent one in Cottamol.

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