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Groundwater Levels Depleting Alarmingly in India

Water authorities of India say there is an alarming depletion of ground water levels in the country and are proposing a model legislation to prevent further erosion of water table.

The Central Groundwater Board has carried out a survey to find out the ground water level at various places across the country and identified about 800 areas that were in the danger zone on this score, a senior official said.

"The constant mining of ground water reserves and the rapid depletion of water level is posing a serious threat to the ecology. We are examining the data collected from the affected areas and will soon submit a report to the ministry for necessary action," the official said.

Water level has gone down drastically in such states as Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh in the northern region, Gujarat, Daman and Diu in the west and Andhra and Tamil Nadu in the south.

While 80 per cent of Delhi is in extreme category of over exploitation, all of Daman and Diu is badly affected.

Many areas of Haryana including Narnaul, Samlakha, Karnal and Moga, Sangur, Maha Kalam, Ahmedgarh in Punjab, Surajgarh, Behror and Bhinmal in Rajasthan, Gandhinagar in Gujarat are among others notified for prevention of depletion of water level.

According to the board, in coastal areas of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu deep drilling of tubewells has led to saline water ingress from the sea destroying prime agricultural land and sometime endangering the only available source of drinking water.

In large parts of Delhi, saline water has crept close to the surface.

Federal Water Resources Minister Saif-ud-din Soz told reporters in New Delhi that he had already written to all Chief Ministers suggesting measures to tackle the situation.

"We have already banned further withdrawal of ground water in 43 blocks, minister Soz said.

Also his ministry has circulated a model bill to Chie f Ministers of all states for recharging ground water through measures like rainwater harvesting. And many states have agreed to adopt the bill.


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