History Optional Paper- 1 Solution – 2013: Q.2 (b)
Q.2 (b) Discuss the water management and its conservation planning in the Harappan (Indus-Saraswati) cities.
Water management and its conservation planning in the Harappan cities:
(1) An efficient and well-planned drainage system is a notable feature of Harappan settlements. The main drains were covered by corbelled arches made of brick or stone slabs.
(2) The drains for collecting rainwater were separate from the sewage chutes and pipes.
(3) They made elaborate arrangements for water for drinking and bathing. The sources of water were rivers, wells, and reservoirs or cisterns.
(4) The Great bath at Mohenjodaro is a unique example . The floor and walls of the tank were made water tight by finely fitted bricks laid edge to edge with gypsum mortar. A thick layer of bitumen was laid along the sides of the tank making this one of the earliest examples of waterproofing in the world.
(5) In the city of Mohenjodaro, there may have been more than 700 wells. Most houses or house blocks had at least one private well. Many neighbourhoods had public wells along the main street.
(6) In Allahdino (Near Karachi), the wells had very small diameter to enable the ground water to rise higher due to hydraulic pressure. It may have been used to irrigate the nearby fields.
(7) Dockyard of Lothal is the most distinctive feature of the site. It is roughly trapezoidal basin, enclosed by walls of burnt bricks. The dockyard had provisions for maintaining a regular level of water by means of a sluice gate and a spill channel.
(8) The city of Dholavira had an impressive and unique water harvesting and management system. Dams were built across two streams- Manhar and Mandsar to channelize their water into reservoirs. Several large, deep water cisterns and reservoirs have been found which preserved precious stores of rain water.