Gurgaon’s groundwater condition is critical and it could lead to a disaster, warned Swatantra Kumar, chairperson of the National Green Tribunal, in the city on Saturday.
He said cities should not destroy water bodies as they are directly linked to groundwater, which is the primary source of sustenance for many and is depleting at an alarming rate.Speaking on the sidelines of an event at NorthCap University in Sector 23 A, Kumar said groundwater extraction should be banned from critical areas.
Kumar said that man-made disasters like the one at Bangalore’s Bellandur Lake should be avoided. The lake caught fire in February this year because of some chemical reaction.
“Bangalore had 368 water bodies, which was equivalent to 90 acres of land. However, the number of water bodies, as of today, is down to 120,” Kumar said, adding that a disaster isn’t too far off unless urgent measures are undertaken to preserve and restore the aquifers.
Addressing the event which was organised to mark Earth Day, he voiced alarm over groundwater depletion. He said groundwater is under threat because of undue extraction and presence of high level of pollutants in it.
The city has been experiencing a crisis as the pollutants in big rivers like the Ganga and Yamuna continues to pollute the ground water. He said the situation is alarming.
Projects such as inter linking of rivers should be undertaken to provide some relief to residents in drought-prone areas of the country, he said while attending a moot court competition at the university.
According to the CGWA report, Gurgaon is one of the 162 areas which have been notified across the country for the regulation of groundwater development.
The district was notified as an over-exploited zone in 2008 after there was a steep decline in the level of groundwater.
Groundwater extraction in the area is more than 312% and the groundwater table in Gurgaon has been depleting at an alarming rate — 14.16 metres between 2005 and 2014. Regulation has been deemed necessary to restore groundwater to normal levels.