Defying gravity

  • 29/09/2004

Scarcity amidst plenty summarises the water problem ailing hill-stations today. They receive good rainfall but there is no mechanism to collect runoff for later use. Result: water shortage every year.

How did the Brits manage it? They cashed on the terrain, and gravity, constructing lakes on hilltops that collected water from the catchment. The water was then channelised downhill to the hill-station. The method saved energy in terms of pumping water uphill. But today, the system has become inadequate, and neglected.

How are state governments planning to manage it? Their pet idea is to defy gravity: pumping water uphill. And looking for donors to provide enormous amounts of money.

Take Darjeeling. Its water comes from two lakes the British built

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