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Ground water depletion alarming -- CGWB

AHMEDABAD, APRIL 10: Water from the Raska project may bring respite to areas of the city within the limits of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) but in the suburbs, the continuous and indiscriminate mining of ground water remains a major cause of concern.

According to sources in the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), ground water in these areas has been going down at an increasing rate. The major reasons being extensive growth of these areas due to migration from old city and the absence of an alternative to ground water.

The peizometers (devices to collect data on ground water) installed at two CGWB wells at Sola and Cantonment have been giving alarm signals since quite some time now. Water in the Cantonment well of the Corporation has been declining at a rate of 3.36 metres since January 1995. Levels in the well at Sola, considered to be representative of the situation in AUDA areas, have been going down at a rate of about 4.08 metres during the same period.

The rate by which the water table is going down has increased by about four times as compared to the first five years of the nineties. For the period between 1990 to 1995, the rate was as low as 1.3 metres per year. The city, along with Daskroi taluka, has already been termed as an over-exploited area by CGWB.

CWGB Regional Director, A K Sinha said, ``The fall is itself indicative of the state of affairs. Almost every society or apartment in the AUDA area boasts of a bore for itself, it has become an amenity which adds to the value of the property. At the other end, there is little augmentation that takes place there.''

The CGWB has 112 firms drilling tubewells registered with itself. There are many more which did not come forward when a notification in this regard was published. ``The number of bores in these areas is so large that exact data is difficult to gather,'' Sinha said.

A senior scientist with CGWB R C Jain pointed out, ``Besides extensive mining of water, people have also started drilling tubewells deeper in the earth to avoid their drying up earlier. Absence of augmentation facilities and extensive pavement of urban areas makes percolation of water difficult.''

In an attempt to cater to the ever increasing water requirement in its areas, AUDA has charted out a plan to draw water from the Narmada canal. However, the completion of the project itself is under a cloud due to several complications. Till then, water mining is the only source for water supply.

Alarmed by the situation, AUDA has started making plans for augmentation of water in its limits. AUDA Chairman Surendra Patel said, ``We have made an allocation of Rs 1 crore for developing ponds and lakes in the area. Work on Vastrapur lake has already been taken up while two others are in the pipeline.''

Copyright © 2000 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.


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