Canals of Dehradun

Last month was quite engaging for us as most of our columnists had their ongoing examinations. Hence, the November issue was overdue; but late is better than never. We were adamant to document the canals of Dehra since a long time and November, 2017 issue is a part of that approach. The canals of Dehradun were among the engineered marvels of Uttarakhand. These constructed structures solved not only the irrigation problem of agricultural land of Dehradun but also the availability of drinking water. The reference books like H .G Walton’s Dehradun Gazetteer, Atkinson’s The Himalayan Gazetteer were taken into account to compile the issue. I am thankful to our team members for showing the interest visiting the sites of three centuries old canals. There were moments of absolute astonishment, when we experienced the pressure heads at falls in Maldevta Waterhead Works. The engineering and application of Fluid Dynamics by Cautley took us to the concept of expansion of “Edurism” in Dehra. With a foot in engineering, these marvel structures seem to be so advanced and challenging in present times.

The people of Dehra are a part of these canals, since the drinking water is provided by these sources. There is a strict need of saving the source streams to these canals and revive the rivers by rehabilitation of illegal establishment and encroachments far away from rivers. People of Dehra should be thankful for these master pieces of vernacular architecture. If these streams are not saved in upcoming decade, we will surely be suffering with the scarcity of water for basic daily purposes. Doon is still a valley of eight perennial rivers (The Ganges, The Yamuna, Rispana River, Suswa, Tamsa, Bindal, Song, Tons), and days are not far when ignorance of policymakers will make public pay off their deeds in form of losing their right to use water.

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Nitin Chandola


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