Category Archives: Records

Indian geologist Dr Arya makes it to Guinness Book of World Records- The Tribune

Indian geologist Dr Arya makes it to Guinness Book of World Records
Tribune News Service


Ritesh Arya with lamayuru deposits in Ladakh, once a glacier, in the background.

Chushul War Memorial  Ladakh     1962 Indo China war  2 days

Chandigarh, May 11 Tribune News Service
Dr Ritesh Arya, a hydrogeologist from Panjab University, has made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for drilling the highest artesian borehole in the world.

Hailing from Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, this geologist-turned-entrepreneur has been a ‘rebel’ of sorts. First, he left a cushy state government job to start a drilling company on his own and then moved up at high-altitude to drill deep tubewells against the laid-down geological dictum that “the probability of being able to economically harness groundwater on mountain peak is low.”

Investing Rs 30 lakh to start hydrogeological drilling operations, he successfully explored and drilled for groundwater all along the Indus-Tsangpo Suture zone in Leh and across Karakoram Range in the Nubra valley. The success list includes drilling borewells for the Army at Siachen Glacier, Tyagshi in Partapur, Nubra Valley and Thakung, which is the farthest point on the Pang Gong Lake on the Indo-China border.

Dr Arya had sent in his entries to the Guinness for three categories – drilling the highest borewell in the world with artesian conditions at Leh at an altitude of more than 11,000 ft above the mean sea level, drilling highest borehole in the world at 15,500 ft above mean sea level on Khardungla Mountain Range and the drilling borewell in the coldest climatic conditions at Siachen Glacier that is operational even in winters when temperatures plummet to -55 degree C.

While the artesian condition entry has been given a nod and the highest borehole overall is being investigated, the entry for the coldest climatic conditions has been rejected.

A communiqué received by the hydrogeologist from Mr David Hawksett, a UK-based Guinness World Record science and technology representative, reads: “I have now been in touch with some of my expert consultants and can confirm that we will accept for the highest artesian borehole in the world. I am still investigating your claim for the highest borehole overall.”

Dr Arya’s “Agneyodgara” in world’s `top 10 innovations’ –Guardian

Indian  in world’s `top 10 innovators’ list for his concept Agneyodgara Urja Energy from Lava- Asian Age

Chandigarh-based hydro-geologist Ritesh Arya, who holds the Guinness record for drilling the world’s highest tubewell at Siachen, has now found place among the “world’s top 10 small-scale renewable energy innovators” currently showcased at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi.

“Ritesh Arya is an Indian hydro-geologist who in 2001 found groundwater at over 11,000 ft in the Himalayas, the highest that has ever been discovered. He is backed by three Nordic research groups as well as Norwegian oil giant Statoil, and is finding geothermal resources in places where no one thought it could be. Thousands of Himalayan communities could benefit from the source of renewable energy,” said the Guardian environment editor John Vidal in his appraisal of future technologies exhibited in the UAE this week.
“The Indian Himalayas are promising areas for geothermal utilisation, containing geothermal spring areas and high heat flow provinces. Development of the geothermal resources has the potential to supply the region with electric power to increase industrial efficiency and productivity in agriculture, food-processing and tourism.” Dr Arya, who heads Arya Geo Energy in India, told this newspaper. The plan is to adapt and innovate from already-advanced Nordic technologies to open access to a completely unexploited, but green and endlessly renewable energy source without disturbing the delicate Himalayan ecology.
Listing what he describes as the “lifeblood” of the summit, Mr Vidal has included one other Indian company amongst the most promising “small-scale entrepreneurs, inventors and technologists who have come to Abu Dhabi hoping to attract cash and become mainstream in 20 years time.” Skymill Energy is an Indo-American venture that plans to harness high-altitude jet-stream winds that blow at over 200 mph at over 30,000 ft by using a remote rotary-lift, helicopter-like vehicle attached to a ground generator to produce absolutely pollution-free energy that would be cheaper than coal.
Indian and US scientists backed by the aviation giant Boeing are preparing to commence Skymill’s pilot project in India in 2012.
Besides the Indian ventures, the top 10 includes Korea’s Semi-Materials, Humus Analysis and Freecold of France, the UK-based African Renewable Energies, the UAE’s own 2G, Hitachi’s small-scale desalination plants venture and Algaeventure of the USA.

Borewells sunk at Ladakh heights! Dr Ritesh Arya- The Tribune

Borewells sunk at Ladakh heights!
Tribune News Service

SOLAN: Dr Ritesh Arya, Kasauli- based geologist-turned-hydrologist, has accomplished the path-breaking feat (hitherto deemed impossible) of sinking borewells at altitudes varying from 13,000 to 18,000 feet, in the barren mountain deserts of Ladakh.

Thanks to the expertise of this young alumnus of Panjab University’s Geology Department, 22 hand pumps were functioning, yielding a heavy discharge of sweet, potable water, at Sonam Ling settlement in Choglamsar (13,000 ft.), near Leh, and an unspecified number at Thoise in the Nubra valley, which is at a height of 18,000 ft. The Indian Air Force maintains a base camp at Thoise for supplies to the Army’s Siachen glacier garrison.

These handpumps, considered to be the first-ever such devices at such high altitudes, were installed in June 1998 and have successfully withstood the harsh conditions of peak winter, when temperatures dipped to as low as -20° to -25° Celsius in the area. These had been hailed as a boon, both by the 5,000 odd residents of Sonam Ling and the defence establishment at Thoise.

Before the installation of these pumps, the residents of Choglamsar were forced to trek up to 4 km just to get a pail of water from the Sutlej, flowing nearly a 1000 ft below their settlement, and the establishment at Thoise had to undergo a similar ordeal in getting water from the Shyok.

Both rivers freeze during the severe winter, leaving no choice to the people of Choglamsar and Thoise except to melt snow with precious fuel for obtaining the barest minimum water. In fact, according to legend, the difficulties encountered on account of scarcity of water in Ladakh had lead the British to name the capital town, Leh, which was derived from the first letter of a local saying “life ends here”.

Ironically, even as lakhs of people living in Himalayas suffer chronic water scarcity, there were no takers for Dr Arya’s handpumps. He has since 1993 been propounding the theory that almost every Himalayan mountain peak, including Mt Everest, contained huge reservoirs of water that could provide a ‘perennial’ solution to the hill people’s water shortage. He had based his premise on the fact that the Himalayas, having emerged from a sea, had a lot of water underground.

As often happens with Indian scientists, Dr Arya got a break when a UK-based NGO got interested in his theory on “water aid”, enunciated in a paper which he read out in 1996 at an international conference in Beijing. Earlier, the “water aid” plan had been sought by the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan government-in-exile, for assistance in providing round-the-year water supplies to the Sonam Ling settlement at Choglamsar.

After agreeing to finance the project, the NGO contacted the Central Ground Water Board which promptly discounted any possibility of finding any ground water in the area and advised installation of a lift water scheme on the Sutlej using diesel generator sets. This was hardly a solution, as both diesel and water remain frozen for long durations in winter. During his five-year stint with the IPH Department in HP, he helped instal 400 handpumps in mountain tracts.

However, the water aid plan provided a ray of hope and got him the contract to drill 15 borewells in 1998, after the hydrologist, raring to have a go at proving his theories, offered “no water, no money” terms.

The success of the first 15 handpumps lead to aid being given by another NGO — a French one — for the installation of another seven at Sonam Ling. After these too proved to be successful, the IAF invited Dr Arya to do a similar job at Thoise.

Dr Arya at a meeting with this correspondent here last week, strongly advocated an immediate shift from the current emphasis on tapping of surface water resources to the one on “conjunctive utilisation of both ground and surface water resources” in all hill states.

He was of the view that surface water alone could never meet the hill man’s need fully as the discharge of water in springs, streams, and rivers was wholly dependent on certain weather conditions. It got depleted substantially at times when water was needed the most — in summers. Heavy silting during the rains and freezing of water during winter were the other factors that had a bearing on surface water flow