Out of 7000 springs in state 4520 drying up

DIMAPUR, JUL 12 (NPN) | Publish Date: 7/12/2019 11:49:59 AM IST

In what could be termed as an alarming development, out of the approximately 7,000 springs located within human habitation in the State, 4,520 springs are almost drying up.

Stating this at a meeting on Inventory and Revival of Springs in Indian Himalayan Region (IHR) at NITI Aayog in New Delhi on Friday, State land resources commissioner& secretary Y Kikheto Sema stressed that these springs required immediate rejuvenation. 

He said out of the about 7,000 springs in the State, communities depended upon approximately 7,000 of these for meeting their water requirements.

The meeting was chaired by NITI Aayog member Dr VK Saraswat and attended by officials of IHR States and Union water resources ministry, Department of Land Resources, Department of Science & Technology, Survey of India, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, etc. NITI Aayog principal consultant Dr Ashok Kumar Jain moderated the meeting.

Giving a powerpoint presentation on implementation of pilot projects on springshed management, Sema said Naga forefathers had established villages only after ascertaining availability of spring sources. However, most of these springs were drying up due to unmanaged human activities and effects of climate change, he added.

He said food and water were equally important, but added that as the importance of water was more, water security should be given more priority. 

Sema claimed that, with a little assistance from the State government in the last couple of years, the land resources department (LRD) had taken up one springshed pilot project in all the 11 districts. 

This included community sensitisation and mobilization, discharge measurement, water quality testing, hydro-geological studies of the springshed and demarcation of effective recharge zones, besides other Interventions like mechanical and vegetative measures. 

After intervention, he claimed that each pilot spring had shown an increase in discharge by about 300% within two years. 

Mentioning that and Nagaland visualised the urgency of reviving springs and initiated measures in this regard, the LRD commissioner & secretary acknowledged the contributions of People’s Science Institute, Dehradun and Advanced Centre for Water Resources Development & Management, Pune in imparting trainings and conducting workshops in the State in the last couple of years. 

He said 46 para-hydrogeologists had been trained in the department, who in turn imparted training to the communities in springshed management.

He said LRD had created an inventory for 2,361 springs, covering both physical and water quality parameters, which was submitted to the Union water resources ministry and Central Ground Water Board in June this year.

Appreciating the Government of India for taking up the revival of springs in IHR seriously, Sema urged the Centre to take this up on mission mode and allocate separate fund for its implementation as most of the IHR States were not in a position to rejuvenate the springs on a large scale due to resource constrains.

Acknowledging the presentation made by Sema on behalf of Nagaland government, which incidentally was the only State to have done so, Saraswat commended the efforts made by few IHR States like Meghalaya, Nagaland and Sikkim, and urged other States to emulate from them. 

He informed the meeting that he would be visiting all IHR States and discussing with their chief ministers and chief secretaries on these issues.

This was stated in a press release by LRD joint director Albert Ngullie. 

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