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Sukha Raula (dry ravine) to Gad Ganga – the transformation in Ufrenkhal

Ufrenkhal – the village
Driving towards Ufrenkhal, a village in Pauri Garhwal (Uttarakhand), I see a lush, green mountain covered with deodar, banj and utees trees. Little did I realize that this diverse and dense forest, which is alive with wildlife, is very new. 40 years ago, this vast area was a firing range!

My curiosity was aroused. I wanted to find out more about this transformation. When and how did it happen? What was done? And most importantly, who was behind it?

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What does 'being water positive' really mean for the villages where manufacturing plants are situated ?

 

Bottled drinks are commonplace and we often reach for them without a thought. We may even feel good about our purchase as we read about the companies' commitment to water security' printed on the label. 

 

What does 'being water positive' really mean for the villages where manufacturing plants are situated ? This article examines the case of one such plant in Mehdiganj, PO Benipur, Arajiline block, Dist Varanasi and its effect on the groundwater levels in the area. The village has led an agitation against 4 specific negative impacts of the plant, acheiving moderate but measurable success.

This year, the movement comes to a crisis point as despite a warning by the Central Groundwater Development Board, the plant applies for a four-fold expansion.  

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A video shows the effort of the Dhara Vikas initiative in rejuvenating the dying springs of Sikkim.

Pure and beautiful, mountain springs confer lives. With change in climate conditions and rainfall patterns, rural habitations in Sikkim face drinking water shortages. Many of these springs are drying up or their discharge declining. But there is hope at the end of an endeavour, where science, government and community come together to revive springs of their local region.

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This beautifully shot film narrates the history of Timbaktu in Ananatapur District, and through it also describes the impact of the Green Revolution on the land.

'Timbaktu' describes the motivation, efforts and results of the Timbaktu collective started in the 1980s by Mary and Bablu Ganguly.  Just as important, it narrates the story of a couple with a dream, and how they made it come true. Mary and Bablu come across as an intensely likeable pair who are passionate about the land they live  in and the people they share it with. This perhaps, is the true charm of this award-winning film- Timbaktu won the National Award (2012) for the best Environmental film.

Watch a trailer of the film below:

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With no single example across the world to cite for successful model of water privatisation, the irony remains that it continues to grow in developing countries. India is witnessing a range of private sector participation in various water schemes, these come under different forms and shapes but the motive remains the same- make profit out water. Almost all privatisation endeavor in water sector has met with obstacles, Khandwa is no exception! The teething problem of the project doesn't appear to settle as the rising discontent and resistance among people continues to grow.

The bad track record of the public sector to provide water has increasingly led to private sector participation in water supply system. The proponents of privatization state that private sector would increase efficiency, bring adequate finance and help build the infrastructure that is required to run the utilities properly in an effective manner. The anti privatisation lobby argue that the price of water will increase, will undermine the socio-cultural aspects of water and also there will be water quality issues.

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