The Dhobighat community downstream of Mussoorie provides laundering services to the upstream town’s schools, hotels and government institutions. Washing is done along a natural stream which flows through the settlement, first inhabited by the dhobi (washing) community over 80 years ago. The livelihood of the dhobi community depends on clean, fast-running water. In recent times, they have been asked by local government to “share” their stream with other nearby settlements. This has given rise to a decline in water flow to the community, as well a breakdown in communal water-collection activities, disrupting both physical flows and social interactions. With youth out-migration and the advent of mechanised washing machines, the demand for washing services is declining, so these livelihoods look increasingly vulnerable.
Lake is our greatest treasure and biggest challenge
A presentation and research summary of Nainital Lake by Dr Vishal Singh of the Centre for Ecology Development and Research (CEDAR).
Kangra District, Himachal Pradesh, India
Palampur is a small town of less than 15 000 people that lies at the feet of the Dhauladhar mountain range in Kangra District, Himachal Pradesh. The Dhauladhar mountains are covered in snow through the year; the melt from its glaciers and snow feeds numerous springs, streams and rivers that flow down to settlements like Palampur. The surrounding countryside has a system of still-maintained kuhl channels used for irrigation and farming. Palampur town and households obtains its water mainly from the Neugal River through a piped pumping system; the Neugal also has numerous hydro-power interventions along its length. The oldest source of water lies to the north of the town and comes from a spring named Bohal, located beneath a forest. Our research partners...
The Flying Civil Servant
Rachel Rowe, is Librarian of the Centre of South Asian Studies and the Royal Commonwealth Society collections in the University of Cambridge Library. Rachel writes here on the archives of Sir Frederick Tymms, RCMS 20, one of the most significant figures in the development of civil aviation, referred to by his biographer, E.A. Johnston, as the ‘Flying Civil Servant’. Tymms served as an Observer in the Royal Flying Corps during WW1, then joined the civil aviation department of the Air Ministry 1920-1927 where he became involved in the development of air routes across Africa and India in the 1920s and 30s. His archives document the difficulties of locating suitable landing strips at regular distances across each continent and the excitement at the opening of new aerodromes. ...
Panorama by Sir Frederick Tymms
Sir Frederick Tymms (1889-1987)
Reciprocal Water Access (RWA) Agreement
Central Palampur derives around 10% of its water supply from a spring just to the north of the settlement. The origins of the spring lie beneath a forest that has in the recent past been harvested and degraded to a significant degree through the herding and fuelwood needs and actions of the inhabitants of three hamlets just upstream of Palampur. During these periods of intensive forest extraction, flowing water quantities declined towards the centre of town. In order to address the suspected link between forest use and water flows, local NGOs and researchers teamed up to address the land use and community issues that were leading to the over-extraction of forest products. In order to do this, the Municipal Council (MC) was brought on...