Water scarcity

Half the mountain springs in Indian Himalayan region are drying up, warns NITI Aayog: Report

The organisation has asked all stakeholders to comment by February 19 on its draft report in order to decide what can be done to save the water bodies.

Half of the mountain springs in the Himalayan region are drying up, a NITI Aayog draft report has said. The report, which the organisation’s working group on “Inventory and Revival of Springs of Himalaya for Water Security” prepared, has asked all stakeholders to comment on it by February 19 to decide what can be done to save the water bodies, Mint reported.

“Nearly 60% of low-discharge springs that provided water to small habitations in the Himalayan region have reported a clear decline during the last couple of decades,” the report said, and added that it was time to recognise “springwater depletion as a nationally pertinent problem and begin to address it through preventive and corrective measures”.

There are five million springs in India, of which close to three million are in the Indian Himalayan Region – which is spread across 12 states and is home to over 50 million people –, the report said.

These springs are the primary source of water for rural households in the region and, for many, the only source. A number of urban communities too depend on these water bodies.

Moreover, the Himalayas are a major source of fresh water for perennial rivers such as the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra, and depletion in spring flows at the rivers’ origins might impact their flow, Mint reported.

The report has recommended short-term, medium-term and long-term action plans, spread over eight years, to tackle the problem. Systematic mapping of springs across the Himalayas, spring-shed management, a spring revival programme in a vulnerable block in each of the mountain states and regular monitoring of springs are some of the steps that have been recommended. The NITI Aayog has also suggested that a national registry for springs could be set up to frequently evaluate them.

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Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

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Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

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Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.