Monsoon on doorstep, but water harvesting systems lying defunct in Karnal : The Tribune India

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Monsoon on doorstep, but water harvesting systems lying defunct in Karnal

Lack of maintenance to blame; groundwater recharge affected

Monsoon on doorstep, but water harvesting systems lying defunct in Karnal

A water harvesting system in Karnal surrounded by wild growth.



Tribune News Service

Parveen Arora

Karnal, May 26

Monsoon is just round the corner, but a majority of the rainwater harvesting systems are lying defunct across the district, derailing the aim of recharging water table.

DEPTS TOLD TO GET STRUCTURES CLEANED

I have directed the departments concerned to get the rainwater harvesting systems cleaned before the arrival of monsoon. All institutions should also maintain these systems. I will check the working of the systems in coming days. Anish Yadav, Karnal Deputy Commissioner

As per sources in the district administration, there are around 800 rainwater harvesting systems across the district. Of them 30 were installed under the Smart City project, while 397

were set up by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation at different locations in the district.

Besides, the Panchyati Raj and Irrigation Departments have also constructed a number of water harvesting systems, but a majority of them are of no use, say the sources.

The condition of these systems is worrisome in government institutions. A system had been installed at the mini secretariat, but the authorities haven’t paid any heed as it hasn’t been cleaned for a long time. Similarly, both the systems in Government Senior Secondary School, Sikri, two at a primary school in Sikri, one at Government Senior School, Subhri, are lying defunct. The situation in almost similar in most of the schools and government buildings.

These systems were installed to recharge the water table, so that groundwater could be increased, but lack of maintenance has made these defunct. Consequently, the recharge of groundwater through rainwater harvesting has been far below the optimum level.

Meanwhile, a senior official said at some places, the systems were well-maintained but the number was quite low, so there was a need to maintain these at the institution level too. “The defunct harvesting systems are filled with garbage and filth. The systems need immediate attention,” he added.

Notably, the Karnal block is in the dark zone and its groundwater is declining each year. As per the report of the Ground Water Cell, rapid and extensive extraction of groundwater has landed Karnal in the over-exploited blocks of the state as it has witnessed an alarming downfall by 8.98 m between 2000 and 2021, while the district has recorded a drop by 12.86 m in the same time. The water table of the Karnal block was at 9.11 m in 2000, which has reached 18.09 m in 2021. Similarly, the water table of Karnal district was at 8.57 m in 2000 and has reached 21.43 m in 2021.

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