Rituraj Borthakur GUWAHATI, July 30 - Backed by IIT Guwahati, a tea garden in Upper Assam has been able to successfully moderate its micro-climate through a rain water management application that has lead to better flushes as well as increased labour efficiency.Creation ponds with irrigation facility at Dalowjan Tea Estate, around 10 km from Golaghat town, have shown multiple benefits, including better crop yield due to micro climatic changes.
A pond with irrigation facility at Dalowjan Tea Estate.
“This rain water harvesting project has various advantages. Besides solving the water logging problem of the garden, it has helped moderate the micro-climate by around 2 degrees. Areas up to half a km of the ponds were 1 to 2 degree Celsius cooler than the other areas,” Professor Arup Kumar Sarma of the Civil Engineering department of IIT, who is leading the project told The Assam Tribune.
He said the model would help address the adverse effect of climate change.
Ponds (of around 60 metre by 30 metre each) were created at feasible locations within the tea garden. Channels were dug through which the rain water was drained to the ponds.
Measurements taken between July-December last year showed that the mercury levels near the pond were around two degrees lower than areas located near the garden road.
“We have created nine ponds so far and we plan to create three more to cover more areas of the garden. We have started to get the results. The sections of tea bushes near the ponds now have better health and produced better flushes,” Dalowjan manager SK Saikia said.
The garden has a plantation area of around 114 hectares.
Saikia said the shade created by the ponds have also led to increased efficiency among the garden workers.
The IITG has also suggested a more sophisticated rain water management application which envisages creation of a recharge well and a deep tube well within the ponds, which will help maintain the groundwater level. It will also have irrigation facilities. The garden authorities will implement the application at a later stage.
Field expert under the IITG’s BP Chaliha Chair PK Sarma said the project has helped tackle the water logging problem in the garden to a large extent.
“Flooding, water logging and drought are some major challenges faced by gardens which had been affecting production in many areas,” he said.
The project at Dalowjan is into its third year of application and more tea gardens are in touch with IITG to replicate the model.