Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, July 13
The Agriculture Department claims to have been running special campaigns to spread awareness on overexploitation of groundwater, but 18 districts have witnessed decline in the water level in the state.
Sources in the department said except three districts, the groundwater had declined across the state since June 1974.
Mahendragarh district has witnessed the maximum decline of 28.58 metres, followed by Kurukshetra with 24.32 metres, Gurgaon 20.10 metres, Kaithal 18.75 metres, Fatehabad 13.78 metres and Panipat 13.04 metres. However, Hisar, Rohtak and Jhajjar have not seen any decline, while the overall decline in the state has been recorded at 8.56 metres during the period.
“We have been running various campaigns to spread awareness on overexploitation of groundwater. Some farmers responded positively, but a majority of them are unwilling to follow the guidelines of our department,” said a senior officer of the Agriculture Department.
Sources said that there were a total of 71 overexploited blocks across the state where groundwater had been exploited above 100 per cent. There are 15 blocks in critical category where groundwater has been used between 70-100 per cent. 7 blocks are in the category of semi-critical where groundwater has been used between 70 to 90 per cent, while 23 blocks are in the category of ‘safe’ as water has used below 70 per cent in these blocks.
“The Agriculture Department must promote diversification and spread awareness about overexploitation of groundwater, but they are doing nothing and all claims are only on papers. Since farmers have been getting proper price only for paddy and wheat, they are mainly growing these two crops,”said Gurnam Singh Chaduni, state president, Bharatiya Kisan Union. Director, Agriculture, Bhupinder Singh could not be contacted for his comments.
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