The Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) has devised a new plan to save wells and stepwells in the city from drying up – by putting them up for adoption.
Residents of Vishal Nagar have responded to the move by adopting and restoring a drying well in their locality. Following the approach are residents of Nalanda Parisar who also restored a well in their area.
“We had to convince everyone for supporting the initiative by explaining them about its long-term benefits,” said Rajesh Jain, president of Vishal Nagar resident welfare society.
“Our wells are dying due to negligence. We must protect them, but the corporation does not have enough resources to restore them all at once,” said Balram Verma, IMC’s water works department in-charge, adding that 629 wells and stepwells in the municipal limits still contain water.
“Although we don’t have exact figures, estimates suggest that Indore has lost at least 100 to 150 wells and/or stepwells to encroachments. Even if we restore wells at our own expense, their constant monitoring and maintenance will be a herculean task. Hence, it is essential that we take help of local residents who can protect them from encroachment, pollution etc,” Verma said, sharing plans to channelise rainwater from nearby colonies to these wells for recharging ground water.
Restoration of each well may cost in the range of Rs 1 – 2 lakh, depending on its size and condition. Restoration requires desilting, painting, covering the water body with iron mesh and installing water pumps.