In my last post I had written about digging of wells and making waterholes in the Indala plateau. We just finished digging the third well and have got three water holes going already. The three wells were dug near non-perennial streams and in places where there were “small wells” (locally known as kui) on such streams. This was done to maximize the recharging of the wells after every rain. All the three kui that existed on these three different locations were in total ruins and the new wells were dug right next to the older ruined kui. We probably could have fixed these older kuis but we did not even give it thought because the cost of doing that would have been much more than the cost of digging newer wells.
The three wells are located in Dev ki kui, Gular ki kui and Pathar or Baba ki kui. They are about three to four kilometers apart from each other. Gular ki kui is about 4 kilometers away from Indala village (one of the four villages that exist inside the Ranthambhore national park). We got lucky with Dev ki kui and Baba ki kui. These wells struck good permanent underground water streams at 21 and 29 feet respectively. The well at Gular ki kui struck water at 40 feet but this water is just about enough to sustain one waterhole.
The total cost of digging 90 feet of well was Rupees 360,000. We have paid the contractor Dhanroop Maali a sum of Rupess 240,000 and the rest I am going to pay him in a day or two. I would like to thank three of my close friends who pitched in with the money. They are Jayanand Govindraj (from Chennai – Rupees 50,000), Neha and Hitesh (from Delhi – Rupees 25,000) and Nitin “Silky” Mistry (from Goa – Rupees 20,000). Cheers guys –this may be the only credit that you will get. No – I am just joking – you will get much more than that. And none of them paid in “dollars” (see the 8th comment in my last post to know what I mean).
Getting the first waterhole going near all the three wells was easy – all the three areas had “natural” rocky waterholes close by that are being filled by the water from the wells. The waterhole at Dev ki kui (see picture below) is pretty amazing. I saw about 20 Sambar der drinking there at one time, late in the evening. The Forest Department staff and the guys working at the wells have been reporting regular tiger sightings. And these were areas where tiger were almost never seen after December or so, when the last waterholes dried out.
There is some work to be done still. Like making a few very basic water recharging structures and a few more waterholes. This is time consuming but relatively inexpensive work.