GB Nagar groundwater table depletes again, worst decline in Greater Noida’s Gulistanpur
According to the limited assessment (it did not include all the spots where assessment is done in Gautam Budh Nagar), the deepest point in Gautam Budh Nagar where water could be found was 30.38m -- approximately 10 storeys deep -- at the Govt Degree College in Noida. The water table here fell by 2.32m from 28.06m in 2019.Updated: Jul 24, 2020 10:59 IST
The groundwater table has receded below 30 metres in the city, one of the worst depletions recorded so far, reveals the pre-monsoon assessment by the groundwater department.
According to the limited assessment (it did not include all the spots where assessment is done in Gautam Budh Nagar), the deepest point in Gautam Budh Nagar where water could be found was 30.38m -- approximately 10 storeys deep -- at the Govt Degree College in Noida. The water table here fell by 2.32m from 28.06m in 2019.
This was followed by Sector 39, where the groundwater level dropped to 30.14m from 29.58m last year. The spot is near the Noida golf course in Sector 42, on which the national green tribunal, this June, had imposed an interim fine of ₹25 lakh for illegally extracting water through borewells to quench its 500 kilo litres per day (KLD) demand.
The table also registered a drop of one metre at the district magistrate’s office – it fell from 9.46 metres in 2019 to 10.46 metres in June 2020.
Among the other areas that registered the steepest drops were Gulistanpur Primary school in Greater Noida where the groundwater fell by 8.87m (from 10.65m in 2019 to 19.52m in 2020). In Delta-3 of Greater Noida, the water levels shrunk by 3.59m, while in the Bisrakh Block, the groundwater level by 2.98m as compared to last year.
The report includes 24 of the 84 spots across the district where the groundwater is regularly assessed. None of the 24 spots recorded a recharge or rise in the groundwater level.
Officials said the only good news was that even though the groundwater level has dropped, the average drop has reduced as compared to previous years. According to the report, while the annual drop in Noida was 1.792m since 2017, it was 1.44m as per the limited pre-monsoon assessment.
The assessment was done between June 27 and July 1.
“The groundwater has dropped but if we look at the average annual drop, it has reduced since last year. Last year, we started the Jal Shakti Abhiyan under which almost all district administration buildings had set up rainwater harvesting systems, and over 50 ponds were rejuvenated. This will have long term benefits and help recharge the water table,” Rahul Dev, junior engineer, UP Ground Water Department, Gautam Budh Nagar, said.
“Gautam Budh Nagar is already a water stressed area and groundwater depletion is a serious issue that is not taken with the seriousness it deserves. Unless the administration and society come together and put an end to illegally drawing water through unauthorised borewells, the region will have to face severe consequences,” city based environmentalist Vikrant Tongad said.
In February this year, the Uttar Pradesh cabinet had approved the UP Groundwater (Management and Regulation) Rules – 2020, to protect and regulate the usage of groundwater after the water table dipped to alarming levels in the state, which currently has 82 overexploited, 47 critical and 151 semi-critical blocks.
According to the UP groundwater department statistics, the two development blocks of Bisrakh (149.19% groundwater usage) and Jewar (108.81%) in Gautam Budh Nagar are already in the overexploited category. The Dadri block (84.50%) is semi-critical while the Dankaur block (99.84%) is in the critical category.