While keeping monuments at Mandu in foci, throw light on the rainwater harvesting system. Can Mandu's antique water system be restored and revived? Can it help to solve the drinking water problem in the surrounding areas? Discuss.

Rainwater harvesting is the accumulation and deposition of rainwater for reuse on-site, rather than allowing it to run off. Mandu is located 2000 ft above sea level and had no aquifers or ground water; and had to be dependent upon rainwater during monsoon months. The Jahaz Mahal at Mandu is known for an elaborate rainwater storage tank which not only harvested the rainwater but also provided a soothing climate around the palace.
Jahaz Mahal used rainwater as well as passive solar energy harvesting in conjunction with natural processes around it. Most of these structures have become defunct now except the wells and baoris which still provide some water to local inhabitants.
Such a system can be revisited and employed in order to mean water scarcity demands. However, details of these ancient and medieval technologies of water harvesting, filtration, passive solar energy harvesting, natural cooling and heating etc. have been lost. Further, pumping up water was more convenient than maintaining these structures, which although boasted of excellent architecture but also were primarily built around luxuries for the rulers. The interest in rainwater harvesting has revived only in last few decades when we are on brink of a water crisis.
Therefore, we must make hay when the sun shines rather than keeping it to adoption when there is crisis.

Question for UPSC Mains:
While keeping monuments at Mandu in foci, throw light on the rainwater harvesting system. Can Mandu’s antique water system be restored and revived? Can it help to solve the drinking water problem in the surrounding areas? Discuss.

Published: May 1, 2016 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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