The Artificial Glacier


The Artificial Glacier

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The Artificial Glacier

The Artificial Glacier

The Artificial Glacier

In fact, necessity is the mother of invention. When there was a shortage of water in Leh and its surrounding areas, life was not taking the name of stopping. Why? Because Chewang Norphel, a retired civil engineer of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, came up with the idea of ​​artificial glaciers.

Ladakh is a cold desert at an altitude of 3,000–3,500 m above sea level, with an average annual rainfall of less than 50 mm. Glaciers have always been the only source of water. Unlike the rest of river/monsoon-dependent India, agriculture is completely dependent on the melting of glaciers. But with the growing effects of climate change over the years, rainfall and snowfall patterns are changing, resulting in severe shortages and drought conditions. Given the harsh winter conditions, the window for cultivation is usually limited to one crop season.

It is situated between the natural glacier above and the village below. The site closest to the village and at the lowest elevation melts first, providing water during the critical sowing season during April/May. More layers of snow ensure a steady supply to the farms. Thus, farmers are able to manage two crops instead of one. It costs around Rs 1,50,000 and above to make it.

Affectionately called the “Glacier Man”, Mr Norfel has designed over 15 artificial glaciers in and around Leh since 1987. For his pioneering effort, he was awarded the Padma Shri by President Pranab Mukherjee in 2015.

Here are some basic steps in making an artificial glacier.

At higher elevations, river or stream water is diverted north to a shaded area of ​​the hillside, where the winter sun is blocked by a ridge of mountain ranges. In winter/early November, the diverted water is carried up the sloping hill through distribution channels. Stone embankments are built at regular intervals that obstruct the flow of water, causing shallow pools to freeze, forming ice floes along the slope. The ice formation continues for 3–4 months resulting in a large accumulation of ice called an “artificial glacier”. 0 0 0

The Artificial Glacier

N. B. This article ‘The Artificial Glacier’ originally belongs to the book entitled ‘Gleaned Essays‘ by Menonimus.


Books of Composition by M. Menonimus:

  1. Advertisement Writing
  2. Amplification Writing
  3. Note Making
  4. Paragraph Writing
  5. Notice Writing
  6. Passage Comprehension
  7. The Art of Poster Writing
  8. The Art of Letter Writing
  9. Report Writing
  10. Story Writing
  11. Substance Writing
  12. School Essays Part-I
  13. School Essays Part-II
  14. School English Grammar Part-I
  15. School English Grammar Part-II..

Books of S. Story by M. Menonimus:

  1. The Fugitive Father and Other Stories
  2. The Prostitute and Other Stories
  3. Neha’s Confession

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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