Tehri Garhwal District
Springs are the key source of water for rural households in Uttarakhand, yet they have seen an overall neglect over the decades with discharge from many springs declining bit by bit. The depletion of aquifers, changes in land use and ecological degradation have led to several initiatives to address springshed management in the state. We speak to Dr.
NGT orders DDA to ensure farming on the Yamuna floodplains is stopped by 2020
"An eternal life free of sins" is the promise that comes attached with the magnificent occasion of Kumbh Mela. The 2019 Ardh Kumbh that takes place once in six years is just around the corner. Starting January 15, crores of people from around the world will take a dip in the Triveni Sangam—the confluence of the Ganga and the Yamuna.
Sacred groves are undisturbed or preserved patches of vegetation or forested areas located on the outskirts of villages, towns or plains that are conserved by communities by dedicating them to local folk deities or ancestral spirits.
Lokesh Verma, a farmer from Nainital’s Chanfi village, says this is the third year in a row that he is bearing losses in agriculture. “I have lost around Rs 2 lakh and there’s a debt of Rs 70,000 to pay off. I grow strawberries, guavas and peas in my 15 bighas of land, but there is not enough water in the hills to irrigate crops properly,” he says.
Water Ministry launches a portal on the Ganga river
Visitors and the Uttarakhand Tourism Department liken the mountain to 'devbhoomi' or the heavens but it isn't often that a villager of the area echoes those sentiments. Most of them are weary of the unending struggle to live in harmony with those steep slopes that make all manner of infrastructure difficult.
"We did everything ourselves", said the ebuillent Bhuvaneshwari Devi. "We took the cement up, carried the sand, everything! And we even told them where to place the tank"! She went on to narrate how the women's group of which she is a member, taught the men of the village that siting a tank in the stream will place it in danger of being washed away.
Churerdhar, a mountain village in Uttarakhand suffered from a lack of safe potable water. Here, hand pumps used to dry up in the summer and a natural spring 1.5 km away from the cluster of homes that housed 300 people, was the only other source of water. That was its plight in 2002.
Existing water sources
I remember a farm pond that I once visited in Maharashtra. It shone like a square sapphire in that dry land, securely held by tall earth embankments. On the other side of one of those embankments was a parched and dying field. When I asked the farmer why it wasn't irrigated, he asked me to give him a pump.