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  • HAIL alternative university celebrates world international water day

STUPAKARGIL:  After trials in Phyang valley for three years this winter eleven valleys in Ladakh built their own ice stupas, apart from similar efforts in Sikkim, Baltistan and Switzerland outside Ladakh. This winter Ice Stupa team of HIAL also kept a competition amongst interested villages with a goal of spreading the artificial glacier technology and sensitizing the masses around water issues in mountain regions.

On the International World Water Day the results of the competition was decleared at the largest Ice Stupa which got the first prize. Equivalent to 7 million liters of water Ice Stupa of Village Shara Phuktsey won the 1st position and a. Prize of 5 lac rupees and Ice Stupas of village Gya and Government Middle School Karith collecting 4.5 million liters of water shared the 2 position and a Prize of Rupees 1.5 lac each  and for the third position collecting 3 million litres of water the Ice Stupas of Zingral, Takmachi and Satsedo shared the prize and got a prize of Rupees one Lakh each. 

Consolation prizes of 10,000 each were given to Ronglungma Chiktan, Warshudo and Lamsho Chiktan and Participatory commemoration was given to village Taru, Muth Changthang and Sandow Chiktan. 

Meanwhile according an official press release of Sonam Wangchuk, they are happy and proud to see so many villages taking it upon themselves to build their own Ice Stupas and therefore spreading the urgent message of the need to tackle water challenges in the mountains due to global warming.

HIAL Alternative University and SECMOL Alternative School have been making efforts to rise upto the challenge and innovate new solutions in the form of Ice Stupa seasonal artificial glaciers. International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. The United Nations General Assembly responded by designating 22 March 1993 as the first World Water Day.

This World Water Day, 22nd March, is about tackling the water crisis by addressing the reasons why so many people are being left behind. In recent decades many Ladakhi villages have been facing water issues as Himalayan glaciers recede fast under the impact of global warming and local black carbon pollution. Already few villages in Ladakh are starting to become climate refugees as they are forced to abandon their valleys due to water issues.

Sonam Wangchuk told that However they do not consider Ice Stupas as a solution to the challenge. Ice Stupas rather symbolize a last ditch effort of the Himalayan valleys out of helplessness and not an achievement to boast of.  As they say it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. 

STUPA1He further added that The real solution is with the governments of nations and the people living in big cities.  If they take measures and adopt environment friendly lifestyles that cut down emissions, then and only then will there be a respite for us in the mountains. If people in big cities live simply, we in the mountains may simply live. The Ice Stupa project appeals to people in big cities to LIVE SIMPLY, so that we in the mountains can SIMPLY LIVE.

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SRINAGAR: Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Friday convened a meeting of concerned departments to review the progress of compilation of revenue records accompanied with digital missive of the original area of the Dal lake. The data has been sought by the Monitoring Committee headed by the Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam which met in Jammu four days ago on March 18.

The DC directed the concerned departments to ensure compilation of the said data within the stipulated 15-day period. Pertinently, the Remote Sensing and Forest departments are jointly working on the project and the latest imagery of the Dal lake which will be verified (ground-tested) by the Survey & Land Records wing of the Revenue department.

The aim of the entire exercise is to get authentic boundary of the lake in order that the area of its contours are frozen for good and to prevent the possibility of encroachments of and damages to the area of the lake in future. The Revenue department has also been directed to update the statistics of Dal dwellers and their rights if any. Inputs and titles and the status of availability and suitability of land for rehabilitation of the said dwellers are also to be ascertained and updated for the purpose. ADC Srinagar KK Sidha and officers from Survey & Land Records, Ecology & Remote Sensing and LAWDA and Tehsildars North and Khanyar attended the meeting.

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  • Time-bound plan involving a multitude of developmental measures aimed at restoring grandeur of Jhelum

SRINAGAR: The Srinagar administration has chalked out a comprehensive modernization plan for Jhelum river involving time-bound execution of developmental works and setting up of facilities aimed at restoring the grandeur of the historic river. The plan involves refurbishment and modernization of houseboats in the river and setting up of facilities along the banks thereof which will not just enhance the financial opportunities for the owners of houseboats but also facilitate stakeholdership in the upkeep of the river.

Deputy Commissioner Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary who was speaking in a meeting here said the refurbishment of houseboats in Jhelum is a part of the larger plan aimed at restoring the grandeur of the historic river. He said the plan involves modernization of houseboats which are in good condition adding that the houseboats dilapidated will be dismantled and removed and their owners compensated with plots of land.

The DC said the larger modernization plan involves beautification and establishment of various kinds of facilities along the banks of Jhelum river adding the facilities to be set up therein include libraries, kiosks, parks and aesthetic infrastructure. The houseboat owners will be the first amongst the beneficiaries of these facilities. Self help groups of these owners will run the business kiosks to be set up along the banks.

Dr Shahid said the idea is to make the people direct stakeholders in the development and upkeep of the historic river while providing livelihood opportunities to the houseboat owners. The latter will also be trained and equipped under SDRF and will be the first line of defense at the time of eventualities.

The DC has also directed for ending all mining activities in the river to prevent damages to its embankments. He has said only that mining will be allowed in the river which is totally scientific. The plan also includes flood protection works on the left bank of the river which will be taken up soon.