Uttarakhand News

Without water for 3 years, Luthiyaan village in Uttarakhand digs their own pond

While the much needed government-proposed rainwater harvesting project is yet to  take off in the state, a village in Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand dug a lake without any government assistance to quench thirst of its nearly 100 families. The lake created by villagers at Luthiyaan in Jakholi block stored 11 lakh litres of water in the recent monsoon season and set an example for others to follow – including the administration. The village, which didn’t had any proper water source three years ago, has now become self sufficient with water available 24 hours.

Representative Image (Image Source)

Located on the border of Tehri and Rudraprayag district, Luthiyaan village is perched at an elevation of 2,170 meters – making it the highest village in the vicinity. The primary water source of the village was destroyed in the 1991 Uttarkashi earthquake. The only other source of water in the village is rain-fed which remained dry all year round except 4 months in the monsoon season. As such the village residents had to travel 2-3 km for water everyday.

In 2014, the villagers formed Raj Rajeshwari Gram Krishak Samiti that vowed to bring water to 204 households of the Luthiyaan village. On the World Environment Day (5 June 2014), men and women from nearly 100 families – with spades and shovels – started digging in the vicinity. As a result, a small lake (khaal in local parlance) 40 meter long and 18 metre wide was created after a month. The hard work paid off handsomely. During the 2015 monsoon season, around 5 lakh litre water was collected at the lake which consequently recharged the depleting potable water sources. The water collection during the 2016 monsoons was around 8 lakh litre.

With the help of Reliance Foundation, the villagers constructed two storage tanks of 22,000 and 50,000 litre capacity near the lake. In addition to that, 5,000 meters of water pipelines were laid in the village for supplying water to the each and every household in the village. The cost of maintenance of these water pipelines are bore by the Luthiyaan villagers.

With their unflinching eye-for-goal, perseverance and dedication, the Luthiyaan village which was without water was 3 years ago, is overflowing with water today. The initiative didn’t only brought back water in this once-thirsty Uttarakhand village but also helped dwellers to earn an living by  grow fruits and vegetables.

Inputs from Amar Ujala