Water gushing out of tubewells in the fields and submersibles installed in homes ensuring 24x7 water supply may be a cool sight, but there is a flip side to it.
Groundwater extraction continues unabated in UP with a considerable rise in the areas that are over exploited.
From 22 such areas identified in 2002, the numbers have risen to more than 200 in 2012. And if the trend continues, the day is not far when the state would face acute water scarcity, say water experts.
“The trend of drawing groundwater has seen a steep rise since 1995. Tubewells have been affordable and people continue to get them easily. Out of the 200 lakh tubewells in the country, 40 lakh are in UP alone. The state is among the top groundwater users in Asia,” said PR Chaurasia, director, groundwater department, on the concluding day of Groundwater Week. Meerut tops the list of districts that have experienced dip in groundwater levels, he added.
But, it is time to act fast, said Alok Ranjan, agriculture production commissioner.
“The facts indicate that the situation is serious and it is time we act immediately. There is no more time for discussions and seminars, it is time to act at the ground level,” he emphasised.
UP has already framed a groundwater management policy, which is yet to be implemented in its true spirit, said Ranjan.
“There is need monitor the working and ensure right implementation of the policy.”
He said there is no dearth of funds for the purpose and ensured that money would flow from different schemes to facilitate the works for the purpose.
Emphasising on the implementation of the schemes, Alok Ranjan also said initiatives be taken in the state to revive dried up water bodies including rivers, pond, and jheel etc.
Magsaysay awardee Rajendra Singh too expressed concern over the groundwater levels in UP that are reaching dangerous levels.