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Groundwater level falling 20 cm every year
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 15
In India, several districts, more than 250 out of the total 590, have been showing a continuous declining trend in the groundwater level during the pre-monsoon period in the past 10 years.

According to a survey carried out by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), several of these districts are located up north where the health of the groundwater is not up to the mark.

In Punjab and Haryana specifically, almost all districts have been showing this decline in the groundwater level by as much as 20 cm per year for the past 10 years between 1995 and 2004.

Parts of Amritsar, Bathinda, Faridkot, Ferozepore, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Moga, Patiala, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Mansa, Nawanshahr, Ropar and Sangrur in Punjab; Ambala, Bhiwani, Fatehabad, Gurgaon, Hisar, Jhajjar, Jind, Kaithal, Karnal, Kurukshetra, Mahendergarh, Panipat, Rewari, Rohtak, Sirsa and Sonipat in Haryana and Kangra, Kullu, Mandi, Sirmour, Solan and Una in Himachal Pradesh are the areas that need some urgent measures to improve the groundwater levels both by the Centre as well as the state governments.

The Union Government implemented the Center Sector Scheme for artificial recharge by utilising surplus monsoon runoff through construction of various structures for the improvement of groundwater levels locally and also allocated funds to state governments to replicate the efforts at its level. The state governments are also carrying on schemes at their level to improve the health of the groundwater. But for something as important as water, participation of people at the local level is what is most important.

In fact, addressing a consultative committee of the Ministry of Water Resources recently, Minister of Water Resources Priyaranjan Dasmunshi said the CGWB was providing technical guidance on location and design of rain water harvesting structures while urging for active and close involvement of beneficiaries.

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