Reviving 400-year-old Mughal Era Water Structures To Combat Climate Change In MP’s BurhanpurThe city, which once served as the Deccan headquar...Reviving 400-year-old Mughal Era Water Structures To Combat Climate Change In MP’s Burhanpur
The city, which once served as the Deccan headquarters of the Mughals, is on the banks of river Tapti and has many ancient structures, including a unique 400-year-old underground water harvesting system.
MONGABAY . DECEMBER 25, 2021 / 12:16 PM IST
Burhanpur, an ancient city of central India’s Madhya Pradesh, was until recently facing a water crisis. But now, with a few water-related interventions, Burhanpur is changing its destiny.
The city, which once served as the Deccan headquarters of the Mughals, is on the banks of river Tapti and has many ancient structures, including a unique 400-year-old underground water harvesting system. Despite its location and heritage, water was a scarce resource for the residents over the past few years. Lining up every day to fetch water and waiting for long hours for water tankers had become a common occurrence for the people.
Rapid urbanisation and effects of climate change led to scarcity of water in Burhanpur. The city was among ten water vulnerable districts of Madhya Pradesh according to climate change vulnerability assessment report released for the state in the year 2016-17. Madhya Pradesh has also been listed as ‘moderately vulnerable’ in the Climate Vulnerability Assessment for Adaptation Planning report released in 2019-2020.
This year, things changed with regards to water access. The city has become the first district in Madhya Pradesh to have a functional tap-water connection in almost every household (99.95%). Out of 1,01,952 households, 1,01,905 now have water connection in the district, according to the Jal Jeevan Mission dashboard maintained by the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti, which is responsible for water-related, including drinking water, policies.
To ensure continuous water supply to the households of Burhanpur and enhance adaptive capacity to climate change, authorities have come up with a plan to revive the city’s traditional water structures.
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The Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change, under its Climate Change Action Programme sanctioned a project to initiate the conservation of traditional water systems of Burhanpur city which is expected to directly benefit 3550 households and indirectly 10,000 to 15,000 households by climate-proofing urban water supply.
“Studies suggest that the water sector in Burhanpur is highly vulnerable and hence the climate variability poses unique threats to the Burhanpur’s Qanat water supply system (kundi bhandara).