By: Tasaduq Hussain
Srinagar: To overcome the challenges and meet the agricultural needs, the people of Kargil in Ladakh have built two artificial glaciers on their own and are planning to expand them to deal with the water scarcity the region faces during the summer season.
The two Artificial Glaciers have been built at Malikbar Umba and Chumikchan at a distance of around 2 kilometers from the population at a higher altitude close to a natural glacier existing for decades now.
Inhabitants of the Chumikcahn area in the Sankoo subdivision said that the move is aimed to deal with the water scarcity the area faces during the summer season.
“People face immense challenges in irrigating the agricultural fields during the summer season as the region often faces water scarcity. This step of making an artificial Glacier is to deal with the same and ensure there is no water shortage,” they said.
Advocate Ashiq Firdous, one of the locals who is said to be the face to hold deliberations and sought suggestions from regions famous innovator Sonam Wangchuk about building the artificial Glacier, said that people have worked on it of their own and used their manpower and money to make it a reality.
He said that after March every year the region faces acute water shortage up to at least June 21 and considering the same we approached Sonam Wangchuk to help them with ideas and suggestions.
“He trained us for at least three days back in November last year after which the work started. He provided us pipes that can sustain sub-zero temperature upto -40 and the same material has been used to build two glaciers,” Ashiq said.
“60 feet height and 40 feet breadth of the glacier has been completed and the work is still underway to expand them further. Two locals have been permanently engaged there on daily wages. Besides every day 10 individuals go up there for the required work which will continue up to February end,” he informed.
He said that the Sankoo division is one of the most greenery areas and these two glaciers will help to enhance the beauty of the green cover and eliminate the sufferings faced by those associated with agricultural activities.
Ashiq said that not a single penny has been provided by anyone while people have made everything possible voluntarily while the Himalayan Institute of Alternates Ladakh (HIAL) headed by Sonam Wangchuk guided them.
“Two glaciers will help us until June and then the natural sources will start to flow. There is also a plan to start drip irrigation to ensure more plantations in the area,” he said. (KNO)