REACHING GREAT HEIGHTS!

Updated: Jun 28, 2019

How solar lifting of water eased out the lives of the inhabitants of Churredhar, a highly elevated village of Garhwal, Uttarakhand

Village Churredhar of Tehri district, Garhwal, Uttarakhand.

How much water people have depends very much on where they live. People’s access to water is determined by their social, economic and geographical position, and many a time it’s the interplay of a combination of these factors. The 2018 report prepared by five working groups set up by Niti Aayog brought due attention to springs in the mainstream discourse. This has been a remarkable attempt by the government in bringing the issue of springshed management to centre stage in the context of sustainable development in the Indian Himalayan Region. Springshed management has been an integral part of the agenda of some notable organisations in the country. However, despite making attempts at reviving these springs, what largely remains a challenge is to bring water to villages at a higher elevation having no other source of water.

Churredhar, a habitation of 356 people, in Tehri district of Uttarakhand is one such village which typifies the aforesaid problem. It is located at an altitude of 2040 metres above Mean Sea Level (MSL) with an average annual rainfall of 1,800 mm of which about 1,200 mm occurs between June to October. The source of water in the village was a hand pump. By summer of 2002, the hand pump in Churredhar had dried up. The village had no natural spring which could be tapped for provision of gravity flow water supply to village. A natural spring, over 1.5 kilometres away, was the only other available source of water.