Snow-harvesting project begins in Himachal Pradesh

November 14th, 2007 - 1:49 am ICT by admin  
This project has begun under the cold desert development programme at a cost of Rs. 14 crores (dollar 3530, 715).

The main aim of this project is to arrest ecological degradation, remove water scarcity and to treat the glaciers, which otherwise would wreck havoc in the region.

Hundreds of labourers are busy digging trenches, making terraces on the fragile mountains at an altitude of 15,000 feet under freezing conditions.

The snow collected in these trenches, pools and terraces during the coming winter months, will stay there till the summers when it will begin to melt.

“In the snow harvesting technique we are stopping the snow moving from the Tiku Nallah (trench) towards the national highway. The snow thus stopped, is collected and starts melting as the summers approach. This water can be collected and used by villagers later when there is a water scarcity,” said Sushil Sana, Chairman, Snow Harvesting Project.

This water would be used for recharging the ground water level. Some of it would also be drained out to the ponds, which could then be used for drinking and irrigation purposes by the people.

“Due to these check dams, we will benefit a lot. If there are no check dams, no water will stop but courtesy this even the glaciers can be trapped which will be a boon for us,” said Tzeng, a resident.

Chorma, a tribal villager said, “During winters when there is snow in abundance it can be trapped in these trenches. These glaciers can also be stopped with the help of these check dams, which will solve the water crisis of the region in summers.”

Himachal Pradesh regularly faces shortage of water in summer and the municipal authorities being forced to supply water on alternate days.

Scanty rainfall and a soaring population is the prime cause for this acute shortage of water.

Resident says the water crisis is likely to affect tourism, which is the mainstay of the state’s economy.(ANI)

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