Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, February 14
Haryana will be the first state where mapping of underground water will be completed. This would be done by May, said sources.
The mapping is being conducted by the Union Ministry of Water Resources to find the status of underground water and measures needed to be taken to recharge the water table.
The states included in the first phase of the exercise are Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, where underground water table has reached a critical level.
The exercise has been launched against the backdrop of studies and surveys, suggesting steady shrinkage in the water table.
As a precursor, pilots were launched in Bihar, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu; this helped in providing efficacy of various techniques in acquifer mapping.
Ministry officials claimed it was for the first time that such mapping had been undertaken on a large scale. Advanced technologies such as like heli-borne geophysical surveys were being used in certain areas. Sophisticated softwares such as Rock Works, ARC GIS, Modflow and Map Info have been used in ratching up plans regarding the entire exercise.
The surveys pointed out rampant exploitation of groundwater in northern states considered to be country’s food basket. These states, including Haryana and Punjab, produce 15 per cent of country’s foodgrain.
Significantly, the states have also witnessed fast and massive urbanisation.
In Haryana, a ban on exploitation of underground water had been imposed in some of its districts, including Gurgaon, about a decade back. Reports suggest that the ban imposed by Central Ground Water Board was violated with impunity.
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