No more 24X7 groundwater supply for parched Delhiites | delhi | Hindustan Times
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No more 24X7 groundwater supply for parched Delhiites

delhi Updated: May 27, 2010 23:33 IST
Subhendu Ray
Subhendu Ray
Hindustan Times
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Residents of multi-storied buildings and owners of farmhouses and hotels in the city could have a tough time in the days ahead.

Consumption of uninterrupted round-the-clock groundwater will soon be a matter of the past for them.

Concerned about the fast-depleting water table, the department of Environment, Delhi Government has decided to show no mercy to residents who illegally draw groundwater by installing borewells or tubewells.

The department, through a circular issued on May 18, has ordered formation of an advisory committee at each revenue area to check violations and seal illegal wells, seize drilling rigs and permanently disconnect water supply.

Each committee will be headed by a Deputy Commissioner (Revenue).

“After the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) restricted the supply of water, the illegal drawing of groundwater through borewells and tubewells has increased enormously,” said a senior DJB officer.

“It has become a practice with residents of South Delhi, especially those who stay in multi-storied buildings and among owners of hotels and farmhouses to get round-the-clock water by installing tube wells or bore wells,” he added.

Previously, various actions initiated by the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) for regulation and control of ground water resources included issuance of directions to group housing societies, institutes, hotels, industries and farmhouses in notified areas of Delhi, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Ghaziabad, where the ground water table is eight metres below the ground.

“But all such efforts were in vain,” the officer added.

“This order, however, made it clear that proper action will be taken against those who violate the order,” said Ramesh Negi, CEO, DJB.

According to Dharmendra, Secretary (Environment), “In Delhi, no person, group, authority, association or institution shall draw ground water through borewell or tube-well for domestic, commercial, agricultural or industrial use, without prior permission of the DJB or the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).”

Appreciating the steps by the department of Environment, Pankaj Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Delhi RWA’s Joint Front, said, “There is an urgent need to regulate extraction of groundwater, so that people who illegally extract it can be taken to task.”

“At the same time, the department should give need-based permission for groundwater extraction,” added Agarwal.

Down, Down, Down...

Ground water levels down because of:

Rapid urbanisation and increasing domestic needs.
Growing demand for water in agriculture and industrial sectors.
A change in cropping patterns in order to raise cash crops in certain areas.
Stress on ground water extraction during drought periods.
Unplanned withdrawal.

During 1977, the water table was within 6 m below ground level (bgl) in most parts of Delhi, the deepest being 23m bgl near the Qutub Minar.

In 1983, it dipped to 10 m bgl in most parts, with the deepest level being 26m bgl at Mehrauli.

In 1995, the extent of area with water levels in the range of 10 to 20 m bgl increased substantially and the deepest water level was about 35 m bgl at Gadaipur in Chattarpur basin of Mehrauli block.

During 1977-1983, the water table dipped by 4 m or less in most parts of Delhi, with the rise being confined to parts of north Delhi and southern part of Chattarpur basin.

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