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Pashchimi Uttar Pradesh ke jalashay

Book>>Pashchimi Uttar Pradesh ke jalashay Aitihasik Viraasa

By Sandip Das
Published: Tuesday 15 January 2008

The Rani Gandhari tank in Meer (Credit: SUNITA NARAIN)

This slim volume under review meticulously documents the history and status of thousands of water harvesting structures in Uttar Pradesh. These include talabs, wells, johads, etc, in western Uttar Pradesh. As per revenue records, there are 3,062 ponds (in 663 villages) in Meerut district alone. However, most of them are in a dilapidated condition. Many of the water bodies have been encroached upon.

Water harvesting structures and water bodies named after mythological figures such as Rani Gandhari, King Dushyant and Bheeshma Pitamah, testify to their importance in local cultures . The book provides details in depth about 60 water bodies in western Uttar Pradesh.

Some of the harvesting water structures (as mentioned in the book) date back to ancient and medieval times, while others were built during colonial rule. The book shows that most of these structures are presently being used as dumping grounds and some of them are being maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. Down to Earth

The editors of this volume also mention that a large number of water bodies, not documented in this book, are dying due to lack of maintenance. One hopes that this attempt at documenting the history of water conservation in western Uttar Pradesh will provide inputs to policymakers and communities in restoring these structures.

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