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Gurgaon drying up, has no Plan B

Central body says increasing number of borewells threaten to exhaust ground water by 2017; rain water harvesting a flop show.

india Updated: Jul 18, 2012 01:02 IST
Dhananjay Jha
Dhananjay Jha
Hindustan Times

The ground beneath Gurgaon is being milked dry and the only potential way to replenish the ground water has flopped miserably.

In a city where borewells are becoming the main source of water supply, 250 to 300 mm rain water goes waste every rainy season. Indiscriminate exploitation of ground water had led the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) to prohibit extraction of ground water in the entire Gurgaon district.

It had also said that the implementation of rain water harvesting schemes must be made a mandatory condition for the issuance of licence to developers. But it took the Punjab and Haryana high court verdict to shake the administration out of its deep slumber.

The authorities, which did not have any data on the status of borewells in the Millennium City, were rapped by the Haryana government on Monday over their indifference to rain water harvesting.

"The government has asked the administration to implement rain water harvesting strictly and seriously," said a spokesperson for the Haryana chief minister BS Hooda.

According to CGWA, ground water will be completely exhausted in Gurgaon by 2017 if the extraction continues at the same pace. However, the urban authority, Huda, has done little to bridge the 50 MGD gap in demand and supply. For the 20 lakh population of Gurgaon and over a thousand housing developers, dismal ground water replenishment measures bring more bad tidings.

"The government was never serious about rain water harvesting which is why more than half of the annual rain fall goes waste every rainy season," said a senior CGWA official, adding that it had conducted a survey of the entire district in 2010 and submitted a report to the administration suggesting strict implementation of rain water harvesting.

Gurgaon receives an average rainfall of 595 mm with the maximum number of rainfall catchment areas falling under Huda and District Town Planning (DTP) authority areas.

"Rain water harvesting was mandatory for issuing completion certificate to any property built on a plot of 250 square yard and above. But not a single house has put in place any such measure," said KS Yadav, a resident of Sector 14.

The situation is no different in the areas falling under the DTP. The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon, which had got 270 rain water harvesting structures designed by Jamia Millia Islamia experts, has implemented only 50 of them.

First Published: Jul 17, 2012 23:51 IST