Illegal bore-wells dot Gurgaon
Sanjeev Ahuja 12/03/2009,Hindustan Times
IN THE last three months alone 2,500 bore-wells have been dug in Gurgaon, the city which has been declared a ‘dark zone’ for its gradually decreasing level of groundwater.
This is courtesy the revised Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) guidelines permitting digging of bore-wells for personal use.
But this doesn’t just stop here.
The chairman of the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), B.M.Jha, said it has come to their notice that recent notification allowing digging of bore-wells was being misinterpreted.
Jha said bore-wells are being dug even in areas where drinking water was amply available through other means. The agencies responsible for execution of the notification have been asked to check this misuse and set up community borewells instead, he added.
Gurgaon has seen a sharp decline in groundwater table by four to six feet per year (2006-08), driving the city to potential water crisis. The Gurgaon administration, NGOs as well as a hundreds of citizens have now approached the water authority urging revocation of the guidelines.
The CGWB chairman confirmed to Hindustan Times that the Gurgaon administration had sought clarification on new notification and it had be told that borewells should be allowed only in areas where there was no or inadequate supply of drinking water from government agencies.
“But I find that the notification is being misinterpreted and even the district administrations are not very clear on the riders attached to it,” Jha said.
Digging of bore-wells was barred in Gurgaon in 2001. But the city has seen 30,000 bore-wells come up in the last three decades out of which only 9,140 bore-wells are registered and legally permitted.
The hydrologist of Ground Water Cell, Gurgaon, cautioned, “And if the CGWA continues with its revised guidelines, Gurgaon would have about 30,000 more bore-wells in just one year’s time and ground water level would deteriorate with an alarming rate.”
“We have written to the CGWA that the revised guidelines must be revoked in case of Gurgaon where groundwater table is depleting at an alarming rate. We foresee misuse even for commercial purposes,” said additional deputy commissioner Parveen Kumar.
It has been seen that the residents of some of the sectors such as Palam Vihar and others where there is no dearth of water are getting bore-wells dug up.
Jyoti Sharma, president of Forum of Organised Resource Conservation & Enhancement (FORCE), said it was very unfortunate that the CGWA guidelines did not distinguish between zones where digging should be allowed.
“If the people continue to dig bore-wells, groundwater depletion would go up three times what was being done earlier in places like Gurgaon. I have taken up the matter with the Gurgaon administration as well as CGWA,” Sharma added.
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