Monday 10 June 2013

Summers don't matter in this palace

This summer Mysore experienced a severe water shortage and this could have multiplied had not Hemavathy water be let into the Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam to meet the drinking water needs of the growing populace.
This summer also saw a large number of tourists making a beeline to Mysore and its famed surroundings. Almost every tourist who came to Mysore never went back without seeing the main palace or the Mysore palace, Chamundi Hills and the  Zoological gardens.
The scorching summer left scores of tourists parched for water and the sight of the animals in the zoo was pitiable. But strangely, there was no water shortage in the palace premises, which even today remains the second highest visited monument in India after the Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.
If the main palace attracted 30 lakhs tourists and visitors in 2012, nearly 35 lakhs had visited the magnificent three-storied Indo-Sarcenic structure whose foundation was laid in 1897 and completed in 1912. The palace, designed by Sir Henry Irwin, cost a little more than R. 41 lakhs.
The palace, Palace Board members say, did not suffer much from the severe water crunch that affected almost all localities of Mysore. This is because of the huge tanks that were built by the Wodeyar Kings when they built the palace.
The terrace of the palace has no less than a dozen water tanks with a combined capacity of 1.20 lakhs litres of water. These tanks not only provide water to the members of the royal family still living in a portion of the palace but also to the offices of the Palace board and lakhs of visitors.
These water storage tanks are on the third floor of the palace and are under the domes of the structure. Each tank has been so designed that it can store 10,000 litres of water. Of the 12 tanks, six provide water to the Palace and the rest provide water to the offices of Mysore Palace Board.
The tanks have been so constructed that they keep the palace cool even in sweltering summers. Till recently, Cauvery water was pumped directly into these tanks but this has now been stooped and the eight borewells within the palace compound have taken over this job.
Each borewell is fitted with a 5 HP motor and they pump 30,000 litres of water to these overhead tanks. By the way, the fire extinguishers in the palace care connected directly to these tanks and in case of a fire, they can be used to douse the flames.
The palace is one of the few in India to have rainwater harvesting. The Palace Board has joined hands with the National Institute of Engineering to harvest 23 lakh liters of rain water. Two huge tanks, one with a capacity of 14.58 lakh litres and another with a capacity of 8.58 lakh litres, have been constructed in the palace compound to store rain water and when they are full, they can meet the water needs for an entire year.
The palace had harvested 60 lakh litres of rain water last year and it has set a goal of harvesting  one crore litres through surface water rain water harvesting during the current monsoon.
Rain water harvesting is taken up by he board in five stages. In the first stage, 80,000 litres of water is stored and in the second stage 2.2 lakh litres of water is stored. In the third phase it is 3.2 lakh litres of water, four lakh litres of water is stored and the last stage would see 10 lakh litres stored. This process will be repeated ten times an year to achieve the target of  one crore litres.

1 comment:

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