Wednesday - 29 May 2024 - 8:08 AM

Rejuvenation of the Chandel period pond has become a model in Uttar Pradesh

 Dr. Utkarsh Sinha

#Rejuvenation of Thakurpura pond has become a model in Uttar Pradesh

They say, water is life. But if the water isn’t good enough to consume  it is difficult to sustain life. And this is evident from a case of a pond from Chendel era that had been almost lost by humans until a joint initiative by Parmarth Sansthan and district administration brought it back to relevance.

From an almost moribund state as a pond, a water body spread in 82-acres in Jhansi is now giving life to man, animal and even increasing agri-produce. All this with initiative from Parmarth Sansthan via voluntary labour work and community participation.

As history suggest, ponds in Bundelkhand from Chandel era were built between 10th and 13th century and these water bodies had turned out to be chief source for recharging water in well and ground water in Bundelkhand.

Unfortunately, double whammy of increasing encroachment and pollution upon these ponds has made parched land of Bundelkhand to suffer with a never before water scarcity. Significance of the ponds made thousands of years before can be understood with the pond in village Lahar Thakurpura in Jhansi district. Had there not been enough water, the entire village would have remained thirsty and villagers would then have had to migrate. The place gives an example how nature and man sustain life with the support of each other without harming any one.

About 60 per cent of farming in nearby villages too is dependent upon water from this pond. In the village Lahar there is about a 1000 years old Chandel era pond and its water benefits about 350 farmers in irrigation. The pond is spread in 82 acre.

Water from different villages including Thakurpura, Sukuwan, Rasina, Ganeshpur, Lahar and Simiriya fills the pond. One of the outlet was broken in the pond that resulted in to loss of water in a big way. The excess water hyacinth restricted animals from getting water to drink.

Hyacinth even resulted in to death of fish in this pond and polluted water made villagers to wander ins search of clean water. All this resulted in to disinterest in pond for the villagers and the pond was gradually losing its significance.

IN such a situation Parmarth Sansthan and district magistrate of Jhansi came together for rejuvenating the Thakurpura pond. The entire process adopted is a interesting story full of struggle too. Coordinated effort of government, Parmarth Sansthan and community finally got the pond its old glory back. It is now a model for rejuvenation of ponds in the country.

Significantly, the pond’s rejuvenation was done at minimal resources. The chief secretary of Uttar Pradesh Honorable DS Mishra had visited the pond in April 2023.

With support of  district administration we initiated a 100-days of Shramdaan (voluntary labour work) Mahaabhiyaan, meeting of Paani Panchayat and Jan Chaupaal were conducted. The then district magistrate of Jhansi gave the responsibility of cleaning the pond to Parmarth Sansthan and officials of the departments. With the help of community people the voluntary cleaning work began on April 1, 2022 for 100-days. The aim of this initiative was to take forward the work with involvement of the community for making the 100-days voluntary labour work a success.

Sanjay Singh (Parmarth Samaj Sevi Sanstha)

With the pond was cleared of the hyacinth that paved way for animals to have clear water to drink. A ghat was also made in the pond to facilitate people to take bath and wash clothes. With improved storage of water in the pond the water level in nearby waterbodies also went up. With hyacinth cleared the aquatic life also got rejuvenated and number of fish in pond multiplies fast. In fact scope for fishery also got revived. The district administration got apex laid around the pond for making it look beautiful. With water body getting fully revived less people thought of migrating in village.

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The water in the pond has been cleaned naturally and is good for irrigation. Farmers in nearby villages are taking water for irrigation easily. In fact animals too got a place to drink water post monsoon. While agricultural production went up due to adequate water availability. Thereby, farmers too increased their income.

Today, with day temperature at 45 degree Celsius the pond is full with water and clean water thus attracting locals from around the villages.

It is now a place where people come to see pond that is full of life both from the human and animal world.

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