| June 27, 2019

Excessive land mining at Chure causes water sources to dry up

LAHAN, April 29: People of Lalpur, a VDC along the East-West Highway, have been facing acute shortage of water for drinking and irrigation for almost a year. The locals, who are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood, have installed tube wells for irrigation but the tube wells have dried up. They are even struggling for drinking water as wells used to be their prime source of water.

"The well, which belongs to Madhav Thapaliya, is drying up. If it completely dries up, we will have no other source for water, " said Pramod Yadav, a local of Lalpur.
Jhamanlal Yadav, an elderly of Lalpur, said, "It used to rain on time but now the rains have diverted their path. There was a time when we could forecast rainfall by just looking at the sky but now whenever it looks like raining, it fizzles out into windstorms."

He even added that he never realized that decrease in greenery could lead to dangerous natural changes and make such a huge impact on human life.

For the past few years, there has been excessive mining in the Chure region. Construction materials like stones and pebbles have been transported to India for construction of highways in India. By setting up crusher plants in the region, stones and boulders would be exported to India.

Although no problems were seen in the initial stages of mining, the results of excessive excavations have become apparant since the past three years.

Due to the uncontrolled mining, the natural water recharge process around Chure has been hampered. The effect of water scarcity has now spread from the region to the highway and nearby western regions. It has almost been a year since the tube wells have dried up, so people are relying on nearby streams and ponds for water.

The problem has also been spreading to the Golbajar Municipality. "Even after digging tube well as deep as 100 feet, there isn't enough water," said a resident of Golbajar.

Dinesh Yadav, a forest and environmental expert in Lahan, said, "The uncontrolled and unnatural excavation in the Chure region has set off alarm bells as the water recharge process has been altered and its consequences have spread from the Chure region to nearby highway areas." He also added that there might be a huge water crisis if the excavation process isn't stopped soon.

According to Groundwater Resources Office, water layer used to be at 40-60 feet below the ground until a few years ago, but now it is difficult to find water even at the depth of 100 feet.