Saturday, June 11, 2016

Mechanical extraction of water by drilling in Kalimpong : The need for caution (Interview in KalimpongTv)

Water security in the Himalayas will in the future be a humongous problem with documented information that springs which are our life line for water in the mountains, drying up at an alarming rate. Even a cursory check carried out by STH in and around Kalimpong revealed that many perennial springs had become seasonal and many seasonal ones had dried up. The reasons are many, one of them being the changing rainfall patterns which now gives us 5 months of abundant rainfall followed by almost 7 months of drought.
This in turn has led to a severe water crisis in the town with some desperate people turning to drilling for water within the Kalimpong town municipal limits.
STH along with a group of people had voiced our concerns on the drilling because:-
a. The extraction was being done without a proper study of the aquifer system and unregulated extraction of water at the crest could adversely affect downstream communities.
b. There was no mechanism in place to regulate the number of bore wells or the amount of water that could be extracted.
c. There was no word on recharging the aquifer system/springs or the need to protect recharge areas.
d. There was no word on testing the quality of water.

Kalimpong TV asked me for an interview regarding extraction of ground water in Kalimpong. The same is place below (sorry, the interview is mostly in Nepali)

Praful Rao,
Dist Darjeeling

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