Dewas locals, admin to protect ancient temple

  • Shruti Tomar, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Jun 12, 2016 17:31 IST
Boulder checks have been put in place to stop soil erosion at the hillock in Dewas. (Praveen Bajpai/HT photo)

The residents of Dewas town have joined hands with the district administration to protect an ancient temple of goddess Chamunda after soil erosion threatened the hillock on which the structure is located.

Instead of using science and technology, the administration is using the traditional method of soil and water conservation.

By using discarded material, including broken tin sheets, stones, drum, bamboos, boulder checks and steel, the agriculture department has constructed 19 vertical layers of conservation structures around the hillock to stop the flow of water during rainfall.

“One year ago, soil erosion was a major concern for the district administration. The hillock was in a bad shape. Therefore, collector Ashutosh Awasthi decided to develop the hillock to not only solve the soil erosion problem but also implement rainwater harvesting efficiently,” said Yogendra Kumar Giri, assistant engineer, irrigation.

Residents planted hundreds of trees to stop soil erosion

The residents of Dewas have planted hundreds of trees, including medicinal plants, to stop soil erosion in a natural way.

“The whole hillock was developed into a dumping ground. The encroachment on the hillock was also a problem. But with development of water and soil conservation structures, the whole area has changed totally. We are also contributing through planting shadow trees,” said Vishal Jain, a resident of the area.

Officials said the whole area was established like a model park to encourage others to adopt similar projects.

“We used bamboos, drums, boulder, stone and steel net in the structure. Farmers and villagers can use any of them according to the availability of products to save other hillocks,” said Ashok Rathod, agriculture development officer, Dewas.

Admin trying to promote rainwater harvesting

Awasthi said the administration was trying to promote rainwater harvesting in a region that regularly faces water shortages.

“In Malwa region, water scarcity is a major problem. We are trying to promote rainwater harvesting through such structures. Now, large number of villagers visit the hillock for both religious and learning purpose,” said Awasthi.

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