Altering Aravalli aquifers can disturb water table in Delhi, Haryana: Report
A Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) report revealed that aquifers in Aravallis are interconnected and any alterations in the pattern can disturb the groundwater table in Haryana and Delhi. The report was released last Monday.
The report puts more light on the groundwater level in the region as presently Gurgaon and Faribadad have been categorised as “overexploited” by the CGWB. The report is part of an annual exercise by the CGWB to study the quality of water in the region and help civic bodies take necessary steps to preserve it.
The report also stated that the natural drainage pattern has already been altered due to haphazard mining and urbanisation of Gurgaon. Further, if the contamination of water in the foothills of Aravallis is not stopped, it could threaten the entire hydrological system in Gurgaon and adjacent areas.
It must be noted that almost 30% to 40% of water used in Gurgoan for drinking purposes is obtained from the ground, particularly in private condominiums and about 70 to 80 unauthorised colonies.
As per the report, the water collected from the pond near the Bandhwari waste treatment plant was found to be contaminated and the levels of toxins were above the permissible limit. The plant has been lying defunct for the last four years, but, every day, more than 800 tonnes of solid waste is dumped there. This has resulted in the leachate forming an artificial lake in the hills and affecting the groundwater quality.
The problem, say experts, is that the groundwater recharge trail itself starts from Bandhwari, which is almost a red zone as far as contamination is concerned. The trail passes through Gwal Pahari, Ghata, Sector 29 and ends at Samaspur. Another water recharge trail is from Ghata to Sector 56, Sector- 45 and ends at Civil Lines. All these areas are highly urbanised and a huge amount of sewage seeps into the ground.
The Aravallis hills several small streams such as Buria nullah, Jauhar nullah and Paliwala nullah.
Buria nullah starts from Asola in Delhi and joins river Yamuna, while Jauhar nullah originates from Manger hill and joins Dhauj lake. Of the two streams that originate in the Pali hills, the Pali nullah joins the small bund at Pali Ka Bas while the other stream joins the Badkal lake. Any contamination in water can lead to a disaster, the report said.
The report recommended that as the region is very sensitive, sewage water should be treated and not allowed to contaminate groundwater. Immediate steps should be taken to mitigate the disaster in Bandhwari, the prominent point to recharge groundwater.
The foothills of Aravallis are also prone to large scale construction activities and mining, as a result of which the rainwater runs off to the plains and flood the city. Rainwater is the only option to recharge the groundwater in the region.
“We are spreading awareness among the people so that they understand the importance of Aravallis. If water gets contaminated in the hills, it will affect entire region,” said Virender Singh Lamba, hydrologist, Gurgaon.
Construction activities should be restricted along the foothills, the report said.
“This report clearly states that Aravali hills are a major recharge zone. Thus, there is an urgent need to protect this vital source,” MD Sinha, conservator of forest, South Haryana.