Pithampur unit owners up in arms against ground water 'charge' | indore | Hindustan Times
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Pithampur unit owners up in arms against ground water 'charge'

The Audyogik Kendra Vikas Nigam has decided to levy a charge on the industrial units drawing groundwater in Pithampur, a move which has left the factory owners angry in Madhya Pradesh.

indore Updated: Jan 15, 2015 17:10 IST
Manoj Ahuja

The Audyogik Kendra Vikas Nigam (AKVN) has decided to levy a charge on the industrial units drawing groundwater in Pithampur, a move which has left the factory owners angry in Madhya Pradesh.

In a letter to the factory owners, the AKVN's Indore chapter has asked them to install meters at all the borewell pumps at their own expense. "The meters will be checked on a regular basis and an amount of Rs 1.55 per kilolitre will be charged (from the factory owners). The tariff is subject to change," the letter said.

The move will check exploitation of groundwater as the water table has fallen to alarming levels, the AKVN officials said. Pithampur, which is also home to a special economic zone, has more than 400 medium and large-scale industries including some big names like Cipla, Eicher Motors, Bridgestone, Cummins Turbo and SRF Ltd.

An angry Pithampur Audyogik Sangathan president Gautam Kothari asserted that the action was unjustified as the AKVN is not able to meet the daily water requirement of the industrial units.

"Let them go ahead and ban the borewells, but the government has to first meet our daily water requirement. As against a demand of 18 MLD (million litre per day), the supply is only 8.5 MLD. The industry is able to recycle about 5 MLD and the gap is met through water tankers," Kothari said.

Ground water is used for non-industrial purposes such as watering the plants, he claimed, adding the situation is not that bad as water is found at a depth of 300-400 feet.

But an AKVN official contradicted the water supply figures provided by the Pithampur industrial association (Pithampur Audyogik Sangathan). He added the water level has fallen to 600 feet and the directive was aimed at preventing further depletion of the water level. "Our average daily supply is about 12 MLD,' the official said.