There will soon be a limit to how deep you can dig a borewell.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will restrict the depth of borewells dug by private users because many are going more than 400 ft deep in search of sweet water they can sell to housing societies.
A survey by a team of geologists appointed by the BMC has revealed that groundwater levels have fallen to alarming levels in many parts of Mumbai.
A water department official requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media said over-exploiting groundwater will result in salty water seeping into the land and damage structures standing on it.
The city has 7,000 borewells, of which 2,000 were dug in the past six years.
“In Versova and Lokhandwala some borewells are 400 ft deep and have exploited the upper level of the water table leading to seepage of saline water,” said S.K.Gupta, one of the experts appointed by the municipal corporation.
Additional Municipal Commissioner Anil Diggikar said: “I have instructed officials to study the depth [of borewells] and introduce restrictions so that no saline water enters the ground.”
Faced with an unprecedented water crisis, the BMC has started tapping groundwater resources by cleaning wells and exploring borewell capacity.
A water department report shows that that there has been an increase of 8.77 lakh litres of water in wells after the BMC desilted more than 100 wells.
The municipal corporation has allocated more than Rs 60 crore for desilting and repairing of wells.