A pond is born

If not another piece of developmental work occurs from today at pointReturn, it will still be on its way to regenerate itself for, as I write, a 6′ deep pond spread over half an acre has been dug and it stands filled to the brim by the rains that seemed to have impatiently waited for its completion.

I had spent the last year listening to local folk and observing the water run-off paths. After choosing the location, I consulted competent people at work in watershed management. All this preparatory work was detailed in an earlier article.

1,300 cubic metres [=46,000 cFt] of earth had to be excavated, carried away and usefully disposed off. The digging called for coordinated work between a back-hoe [called locally by the popular brand name, JCB] and several tractor drawn tippers trailers. They are both paid for by the hour; the former at Rs.600 and the latter, Rs.130. The number of tippers required depends on the distance to which the earth is carted away. Some days, I needed up to 4 and some days just 1. It saves a lot of money to plan ahead carefully.

As the digging would be done over several 14-hour days, I guessed I would be kinder on my body and the earth’s resources by camping out at the site, rough thought it would be, rather than commuting daily. So I ticked off items in another shopping list that read, camp cot, stove, pots, pans, provisions and a solar lantern.

JCBs are the ubiquitous work horses, to be seen everywhere now. They are in great demand and so, not turning up on the promised date and time is a common happening. I was racing against the approaching monsoons. I wanted the pond dug, its embankments dressed and reinforced by plants and creepers before the rains arrived.

I was twice stood up by the JCB. There was nothing to do but be patient. But being patient does not slow the monsoons and that was my anxiety. Finally, I got the crew together on Oct 13 and work began.

3 thoughts on “A pond is born

  1. Hello Mr.Sridharan,

    Hearty congratulations on your achievement. You cannot even imagine the effect of publishing these achievements on your blog in our life. we hope to emulate the same things one day and then will share our experiences with you. Honestly, I just pray that even a handful who read your site get inspired to do half the things that you are doing. Great job once again.

  2. Dear Mr. Sridharan,

    This is fantastic. Just like the several achievements of yours. The pond looks awesome, beautiful. Maybe not the finely sculpted stone ponds of the bygone eras but pretty close. With the majestic windmill watching over the pond this place is beginning to look gorgeous.


  3. DV,

    Congrats for achieving this milestone and many others before this…I am sure your experiences will be a beacon for many who are setting out to lead an alternate existence !


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