Rejuvenation of Radkhakrishna Talab

North Bihar can boast of having more water than land. Besides many rivers flowing through it, the region is dotted with thousands of ponds known as Talab or Pokhar, some natural and some man-made.

History tells us that in the bygone era of Maharajas, digging a pond was considered to be auspicious work of the highest rank. A large number of wealthy people who could afford to have a Talab dug, did so. Besides the religious reasons, there was a respect for the environment.

Environmentalists, today, consider these water bodies to be crucial for maintaining the water table as they acted as sponge, besides that they also help in controlling floods. These water bodies played a vital role in the ecosystem and economy of the region. But , in the last few decades, the human intervention and blatant ignorance to the warning of deteriorating environment has posed a direct threat to these water bodies. The use of plastic and other non degradable materials in our daily lives, lack of proper disposal system in addition to human greed reflected by the way we have been treating these life sustaining bodies These Talabs have become a dumping yard for the running sewage and garbage, today most of them resemble no more than cesspools of filth.

This is Radhakrishna Talab situated in a village called Brahmpura in Darbhanga district. It was dug some 150 years ago by a local landlord. He might have done so to earn some good-will for his life in heaven but by the very act of digging the Talab, he actually made it possible for hundreds of families to live through all sorts of calamities in these years. Apart from economic activities, the families living around it, drank and fed from its produce.

Today, about one thousand families live around it and are directly affected by the health of this pond. The water of the pond was found to contain significant levels of arsenic, leading to non existence of any aquatic life. The water of the hand pumps installed around it is undrinkable. Children and women are falling sick in large numbers on a regular basis.

A committee consisting of concerned villagers was formed under the leadership of Shyam Anand Jha, founder secretary of CRIA. After an in house discussion, Rajeev Jha, the treasurer of CRIA proposed that CRIA should come forward and take the responsibility of restoring the original health of the pond, upon which every member agreed.

First, in order to assess the non-degradable garbage dumped in the pond a preliminary cleaning drive was carried out. After digging out thousands of tons of garbage from it, it was realized that without draining out the water and proper rejuvenation, the original health of the ponds cannot be restored.

Draining out a pond spread over close to 3 acres was a humongous task. The committee decided to buy an electric pumping- set and started the draining process.

The Rejuvenation Plan: Once the last drop of water of the pond is pumped out, it is planned to cleanse the pond of every trace of non degradable garbage from it. In order to prevent future dumping of garbage, a proper construction of vertical mounds and gardens around it is needed.

An estimated budget for the entire operation is given below:

  • 1. Draining of water : 50,000/-
  • 2. Cleansing of the pond:100000/-
  • 3. Earthwork (Building mound)500000/-
  • 4. Gardening:400000/-
  • 5. Building of Ghats:400000/-
  • Total 1450000/-

Any contribution towards it will be much appreciated and will be recognized in writing on a stone inscription.

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