A sweet solution

Published: Tuesday 15 August 1995

-- HILLY areas denuded for the sake of development can now be greened again, thanks to a new technology evolved by the G B Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Almora under the aegis of the ministry of environment and forests.

The Sloping Watershed Environmental Engineering Technology (SWEET) as the new method is called , packs a handful. It checks soil erosion, maintains fertility, increases crop productivity, promotes cash fruit and fodder crops and stores rainwater. Putting a stop to open grazing with community consent and installation of small check dams for harvesting rainwater are the other principles governing the technology.

Places like Khaijhuni and Arab in Almora district, Sole and Banaswar in Chamoli district, Mamlay in Sikkim and Chimliang in Nagaland have already benefited from the use Of SWEET. It has proved most effective in the mid-altitude zone of 500 meter (m) to 1,500 m; these are the regions which are thickly populated and also have had to bear the brunt of deforestation.

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