Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, April 5
Water scarcity is not restricted to the plains as is generally perceived, but is also seriously affecting many areas in the Himalayan heights that remain snow-bound for a large part of the year.
The Central Water Commission (CWC) has identified eight villages in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir to launch a pilot project for developing water security models that are compatible with local geographic, climatic and socio-economic parameters.
The villages are Sunam and Jhooling in Lahaul and Spiti district, Puh town and Thanang in Kinnaur district, Gia and Shilawangla in Leh district and Stichting and Kaksar in Kargil district. These villages experience heavy snow during winters.
“Wë have outlined the action plan and a joint team of CWC state government officials and other state holders will visit these villages shortly to work out the modalities of the project,” P Dorje Gyamba, Superintending Engineering, CWC, said.
The project is part of the Jal Kranti Yojana launched by the Ministry of Water Resources to consolidate water conservation and management through mobilisation of local populace and grassroot-level institutions. Two villages plagued by water scarcity have been selected for launching conservation movement that are later expected to be emulated by other villages.
The issues relating to water scarcity in the snow-bound areas are different from those in the plains. Glaciers moving downstream tend to take surrounding snow with them which expedites snow melt, preventing absorption into the soil for recharging ground water.
“Building check dams to control the movement of glaciers, steps to reduce snow sliding and building small reservoirs to harvest snow melt are some of the measures that can be adopted to enhance recharging of ground water,” Gyamba said. In Puh, water scarcity was a serious problem, he added.
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