Gurugram civic body to conduct sealing drive against illegal borewells
The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) will conduct an enforcement drive in the next few days to seal illegal borewells in the city, as part of the Centre’s Jal Shakti Abhiyan, launched earlier this month. Municipal commissioner Amit Khatri has also appointed zone-wise teams to survey each of the city’s four zones for illegal operations to extract groundwater.
This decision was taken in an MCG meeting on Wednesday to find solutions on how the Jal Shakti Abhiyan, a programme launched last week to promote water conservation and rainwater harvesting, could be implemented in the city.
Khatri said at the meeting that a helpline to raise issues related to wastage or illegal use of groundwater would be launched on July 19. “Residents can register a complaint on the helpline if they find someone wasting water or using an illegal borewell,” he said.
Four teams with officials of the District Town and Country Planning (DTCP) and the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) were also formed on Wednesday to check the condition of the rainwater harvesting systems at residential societies in the city. “We will be working with residents’ welfare associations in the societies to ensure the proper implementation of the water harvesting systems,” Khatri said.
According to data received from the agricultural department’s hydrology cell, the groundwater table in Gurugram district fell by 2.5 metres between 2014 and 2018, and by three metres in Gurugram city alone.
The hydrology cell also found that in 2018, the district overdrew on its groundwater reserves by 226%, while Gurugram city alone overdrew its supply by 308%. In 2013, the Central Groundwater Board had categorised the district “over-exploited”.
“Illegal borewells to supply the growing demands of an increasingly urbanised population is one of the main reasons behind the loss of groundwater. We have worked with the district administration to seal several hundreds of borewells since 2012, but a dedicated campaign under the Jal Shakti Abhiyan can achieve swifter results,” district hydrologist VS Lambha said.