The major factor leading to groundwater extraction in Gurgaon is severe shortage of drinking water. This is what state civic agencies will file as reply in court on July 31 on the next hearing of a PIL. The petition on Gurgaon’s water crisis and alarming levels of groundwater depletion is being heard in the Punjab and Haryana high court.
Sources said the joint reply to be filed by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda), Town and Country Planning department and the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) has underlined that people have been forced to extract groundwater due to severe shortage. The present overall water shortage has been pegged at 42 MGD (million gallon litres per day) in the city.
The reply reads that the city’s overall residential, commercial and industrial water requirement is 90 MGD whereas only 48 MGD is being supplied through the city’s water channels.
According to Central Public Health and Environmental Engineering Organisation (CPHEEO) norms, water requirement per person in urban and rural areas is 150 litres and 100 litres, respectively.
In their reply, the civic authorities have contended that 400 acres of under-construction area requires 2 MGD of water.
The court had asked the state agencies to list the source from where water is drawn for construction.
Authorities have claimed that while Huda provides water for plotted areas and shops-cum-offices, large commercial and residential projects manage on their own. To meet the requirement, a pipeline is being constructed at Sector 16, which will be laid from Basai. Besides, arrangements are being made to treat 2.2 MGD sewage water.
The court had on July 16 sought replies from the three departments on petitions filed by city resident Sunil Singh and Qutab Enclave Residents Welfare Association (QERWA), DLF City in 2009, regarding the depleting water table.
Besides, the high court has also restrained the state government from giving a go-ahead for any new construction projects in Gurgaon district till July 31 unless the builder gives an undertaking that he would not use groundwater. According to the Central Ground Water Authority, water level in the city is depleting by one metre every year whereas experts claim it's around three metres.