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Chewang Norphel
Leh, Ladakh
Chewang Norphel
Chewang Norphel, 62, of Leh, Ladakh, makes
zings and artificial glaciers.

Norphel says, "I realised that all the problems in the region were related to water. In most areas. It was scarce. In others it was being wasted."

In Ladakh, the annual average rainfall is 50 mm. The only source of water are glaciers, which melt in summer. This water reaches the villages late in the season. The locals manage this water carefully and store it for the year.

Norphel proposes that artificial glaciers be built as a substitute for dams. He believes that dams are an enormous financial burden and they bring about environmental and social hazards. Artificial glaciers are easy to build. First, Norphel channelises glacier water into a depression lying in the shadow area of a mountain, hidden from sunlight. He places half-inch-wide iron pipes at the edge of the depression. As the water keeps collecting in the pipes, it freezes. As more water seeps in, it pushes out the frozen blocks, and in turn, itself gets frozen. This keeps happening in a continuos cycle, and these frozen blocks create a clean, artificial glacier. Norphel has made four such glaciers.

In 1996, a year after retirement, Norphel joined the Leh Nutrition Project, a non-governmental organisation, as project manager for watershed development.

For details:
Chewang Norphel
Project officer
Leh Nutrition Project

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Moulana Iftikhar Hussain Ansari
Jammu & Kashmir

Moulana Iftikhar Hussain Ansari is a politician, a businessman and now the 'Green Maulvi' of Jammu and Kashmir. As minister for housing and urban development, he has been credited with establishing the J&K Lakes and Waterways Development Authority in 1997 to preserve the Dal lake. Hampered by a massive fund crunch, there has only been a marginal change in the lake's condition. But the de-weeding process has been started with some success. The Moulana firmly believes that he can tide over the current problem. Once the glory of the Dal is restored, he plans to start cleaning the Jhelum river.
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