Members seek bill to check groundwater exploitation

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New Delhi, Dec 1 (UNI) Several members in the Lok Sabha today expressed concern over the issue of depleting groundwater and demanded strong steps, including legislation, to check the exploitation of ground water in some areas.

Participating in the Calling Attention on the situation arising out of the fall in the level of groundwater, resulting in scarcity of water in the country, particularly in rural areas, they urged the government to take concrete steps to raise the water table.

Raising the issue, Mr Hansraj G Ahir, BJP, cautioned the government about the depleting water reservoir and said water table had gone down by 5 to 6 metre in the past few years, leading to acute drinking water shortage.

Mr Ahir emphasised the need for proper utilisation of ground water and recharge of reservoir by water harvesting and by digging wells and poonds.

He also suggested that the industries be restricted from lifting ground water for their use.

Mr Reoti Raman Singh (SP) said earlier there used to be at least four to five ponds in each village but increasing population and urbanisation had taken a toll. He said the Finance Minister had announced a big allocation for digging of ponds but nothing was visible so far.

Prof Rasa Singh Rawat (BJP) sought permission for digging of wells and deepening of wells in the Dark Zone Area which has been banned by the government. He asked the government if it had any project to link water resources.

Mr Shailendra Kumar (SP) said the land mafia had acquired most of the ponds and sold them for residential purposes. He suggested linking of small rivers in the rural areas and building of check dams which would help raise the water table.

Mr Bhartruhari Mehtab (BJD), while calling for restriction of groundwater for industrial use, drew the attention towards salinity cripping in the coastal area. He sought a legislation to restrict the use of groundwater by industries in certain areas in coastal area.

UNI

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