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To Save A Well : Action Required? - Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh

I need help in raising awareness to save a Govt. owned well - Khasra No. 106/1 located at Ratlam, Viriyakhedi in Madhya Pradesh. I have been campaigning for the welfare of the well over the past two years as people are using the live well as a garbage dump. I have tried to raise the issue with the concerned authorities multiple times to no avail. The dumping of garbage has been stopped but no action taken to clean the well and render it safe for use. The fencing around the well is also damaged and causes accidents to the passer by.

The well is about 60 - 70ft in diameter and would also serve as a good recharge resource for the area also. Kindly advice me regarding what steps that I can take in order to remedy the situation?

Sudhir Sharma




Most public and private open wells in the country which have dried-up are facing similar fate. However, utilising these for useful purposes requires greater effort. While the intention of using dried-up wells for recharging ground water recharge is a good idea, safe guarding them from dumping of harmful waste materials is very essential.

As the concerned officials of your city are not heeding to the requests for restoring its normal condition, collective action of motivated citizens of the area could be one of the effective ways which can be taken up to save the well. You can contact responsible local leaders and agencies working for the cause of environment to involve them in this task.


Dear Sudhir Sharma,

I therefore suggest- in a lighter vein- that should raise the funds required for reclamation of the well from local halwais of Ratlam.

The steps to be taken are fairly obvious and should not require lot of money. You should use the donation amount to engage 3-4 laborers, who would get inside the well and remove the silt and muck accumulated at the bottom of it by using a simple pulley and through system. This used to be a common practice in many villages. Once all the muck accumulated over years of abuse is removed, the labor can be engaged in deepening the well by about 2 feet.

All this can and should be done before the onset of the 2009 monsoon in Ratlam.

This should help in the rejuvenation of the well to a great extent. In case you are able to restore the well to its past dependability, then one can think of recharging it through water harvesting and other.

Measures- to increase its yield- during the period October 2009 to May 2010, after taking into consideration the conditions of the terrain surrounding the well.

It is obvious that a social fencing of the well has to be in place simultaneously with the clean up work and also a fencing with Mehndi or other non edible shrubs, which are not disturbed by cattle, should be grown around it over next two three years you may reed to start a local awareness campaign and a mass movement to bring the well back to its pristine glory over next couple of years.


Ramesh Athavale
Formerly Director Grade Scientist
National Geophysical Research Institute

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