Ice stupas help ghost villages of Ladakh become habitable again

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News: Ministry of Tribal Affairs in collaboration with the Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh (HIAL) is implementing the ‘Rehabilitation of Abandoned Villages through Ice Stupas’ project in Ladakh to make the villages habitable again as people are migrating due to water scarcity.

Facts:

  • Ice Stupas: It is a form of glacier grafting technique that creates artificial glaciers, used for storing winter water (which otherwise would go unused) in the form of conical shaped ice heaps. 
  • Significance: During summer when water is scarce, the Ice Stupa melts to increase water supply for crops. 
  • Who invented it? Ice Stupa was invented by engineer, innovator and education reformist Sonam Wangchuk who is the founder-director of the NGO Students Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (SECMOL).