Monsoon session: Rs 6,773 crore plan to recharge depleting underground water in Punjab

Monsoon session: Rs 6,773 crore plan to recharge depleting underground water in Punjab

Tribune News Service

Sanjeev Singh Bariana

Chandigarh, August 4

The Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) has given Punjab a Rs 6,773 crore plan for constructing at least 11 lakh structures for recharging the fast-depleting underground water in rural as well as urban areas all over the state.

The project details form a part of the reply by the Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Bishweshwar Tudu, to a question posed by MP Balubhau alias Suresh Narayan Dhanorkar during the ongoing session of the Lok Sabha.

The underlying aim of the recharge well is to harness at least 1,200 million cubic metre (MCM) of the monsoon rain water. The CGWB has studied the entire state (50,638 sq km). The report, along with the management plan, has been submitted to Punjab already.

Dhanorkar asked the question in context of the National Green Tribunal monitoring committee report that has pointed out that the state underground water would drop below 300m by 2039.

The CGWB figures in the Lok Sabha session last year had showed that in Punjab, at least 33.85 billion cubic metres of water are extricated annually against a recharge of 22.8 billion cubic metre annually. Out of the total 150 blocks assessed in the state, at least 117 were found to be over-exploited.

Tudu in his reply said, “The water scarcity problem, including taking remedial steps, falls under the states’ mandate. However, the Centre has launched several programmes all over the country.”

The Punjab Government as per a notification dated August 25, 2010, had said that “all the buildings located on plot area of 400 sq.m and above shall have roof-top rainwater harvesting system to recharge groundwater.” The state government had also engaged a company from Israel to prepare a Water Conservation and Management Master Plan.

Water Resources Minister Brahm Shankar Sharma Jimpa said, “We are making all efforts to harvest surface water as the biggest substitute for drinking water so that our underground reserves are saved. Many projects with the NABARD and World Bank on drinking water are showing positive results.”

Critical condition

  • The Central Ground Water Board figures last year had showed that in Punjab, at least 33.85 billion cubic metres of water are extricated annually against a recharge of 22.8 billion cubic metre annually.
  • Out of the total 150 blocks assessed in the state, at least 117 were found to be over-exploited.

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