Contour Trenching: Way To A Self-Replenishing Water Bank for Saplings

Posted on August 30, 2010 in Environment

By Adeena Jamal:

A good sunday morning is nothing but slothful. You flip through the mornig daily with a hot cup of tea in your bed. But youngsters in Pune have taken a better way to utilise this sluggish morning by planting trees by the Continuous Contour Trenching (CCT) Method on the hills near by. The initiative is by Youth to Youth , a pro active foundation in Pune which has been carefully looked upon by Mr.V.Talkakar, a Indira Priyadarshini — Vriksha Mitra award winner. I decided to give up my sleep and join the league.

The climb to the top of the hill is elaborate. Stones carpeted with moss makes the climb all the more herculean. You climb up only to realise the beauty of a Sunday morning atop a hill with a bird’s eye view of serene Pune waking up to an another day. So what is the point of planting trees on a hill? Ayushi Vats , a member of the foundation explains,”Pune has steadily been losing its green cover that we owe to the several industries near by and the alarming pollution level. The trees are relentlessly being chopped off. So we took it in our hands to stop the process. With trees being planted on the hills we have lesser erosion, more water being conserved. And the afforestation results are noteworthy as well.

So, you reach the site , and you see trenches being dug all along the site and plantations taking place. And you will be amazed to see the number of young people at work. Some are clearing the land while the others are planting trees. So what is new about this certain method and its output? Sri Kotu tells us ,“The Continuous Contour Trenching Method has effective results unlike the present set of plantation drives in the country. What is the point of planting trees when they die off in some time? The CCT method has been approved by Takalkar Sir who has had immense experience in this field and has alredy planted nearly 50 million saplings across Maharashtra and the method has excellent results.”

So what is this method? Well, trenches along the same contour are dug up using a contour marker. The contours are very scientifically mapped. Saplings are planted on the slopes of the trenches. The rain water is then stored in the trenches. This method as stated has nearly 90% effectiveness. According to the Government statistics, 20 tonnes of soil per hectare per year is lost, which is a large amount. This soil with its fertility once lost cannot be regained. CCT reduces erosion to almost nil, intervenes the water flow which helps in the increase in soil moisture content.

Well, 20 acres of land has already been covered in Baner, Pune. The process is still on. More projects are going to be taken up. Kunzang Youdol says, ” My friends and I love coming here. It is an experience of its own. Planting trees on flat land is ok, but doing it on hills is a lot more fun. It is a little tedious, but since the results are remarkable it is a lot more satisfying. “ A cup of tea at the base of the hill and the pleasure of a morniing well spent is indeed a feeling of its own.