Why is Jaisalmer in jeopardy? Jaisalmer in Jeopardy

Why is Jaisalmer in jeopardy? Water is the enemy. Increased consumption (and therefore waste), due to growing tourism and population, has put unbearable pressure on the city’s aged infrastructure. Jaisalmer is built of dry sandstone on foundations of clay, sand and rock. The old drainage system – open gulleys at the sides of streets – was adequate as long as waste water was minimal. Now, however, water is piped in at a daily rate of some 120 litres per head – at least 12 times the amount originally used.

What happens when you tip a bucket of water over a sandcastle? Water has seeped through the decayed drains and penetrated the hillside, saturating the foundations of the fortress city, resulting in subsidence and cracks in buildings. In places the retaining wall at the base of the hillside has burst apart, while the bastions are unstable. After the devastating monsoon of 1993, some 250 historic buildings fully or partially collapsed, including the oldest existing Rajput palace, the Rani-ka Mahal, or Maharani’s Palace. Since then, several more buildings have suffered and three of the fort’s 12th-century bastions have collapsed.