Scientists have started working on the plan under the National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS)
12 districts have been identified in 12 Himalayan states as a pilot project
The water problem is more in Pauri and Almora district
‘Water Sanctuary’ will now be built on the lines of Wildlife Sanctuary to deal with the rapidly deepening watershed in the Himalayan states of the country. The Union Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change has entrusted the responsibility of putting the plan on the ground to Govind Ballabh Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment and Sustainable Development Almora. Scientists have started working on the plan under the National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS).
Nodal officer of NMHS and senior scientist of the institute, Dr. Kirit Kumar said that 12 districts have been identified in 12 Himalayan states as pilot projects. It has included districts like Champawat in Uttarakhand, Darjeeling in West Bengal, Dima Hisab in Assam.
The districts of these states have been selected by NITI Aayog as Special Districts. In addition to identifying the threatened watersheds in these districts, they will be developed as water centuries, villagers will also be taken help in this. Under this, the teams are studying aspects of marking waters, reviving dry water, water quality and groundwater.
Scientists keep an eye on three lakh water bodies
Under the Water Century Project, scientists are eyeing more than three lakh small and big water bodies of 12 Himalayan states. The teams are marking those waters which can be developed as water sanctuaries. Scientists believe that in the Himalayan states, on average, 50 percent of the water resources are such which can be developed as a water sanctuary.
Geo-mapping 600 villages of Champawat and 250 villages of Almora
Geo-mapping 600 villages of Champawat and 250 villages of Almora have been done under the project. Through this, data of water resources are being prepared. Whereas in the next phases of the plan, geo-mapping of all the districts of Himalayan states will be done.
Water crisis in 22 development blocks of the state
Recent research done by scientists of GP Pant Institute has revealed that there is a water crisis in 22 development blocks of Uttarakhand. If steps are not taken in time, the situation will become uncontrolled. According to scientists, Pauri and Almora districts have more water problems.
To tackle the water crisis in the Himalayan states, a water sanctuary project is being worked out. In the first phase of the scheme, water quality is being checked in 12 selected districts as well as reviving them. The detailed report related to the project will be submitted to the Union Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change by 15 October.
-Dr. Kirit Kumar, Senior Scientist, and Nodal Officer NMHS