Ludhiana, Mar 20(ANI): While declining water table in Punjab is causing worries to farmers and environmentalists, it has also become a major profit making opportunity for companies that manufacture submersible pumps.
Punjab is dependent on the monsoons for irrigation, but facing constantly lowering water table, submersible pumps are increasingly being used for agriculture. Their demand is expected to rise by additional 10 percent this year.
Girish Garg, an employee of Gargson, which manufactures submersible pumps, said that there is a rise in demand of high-power pumps.
"The water table of the area is going down. Accordingly, the horsepower capacity of the submersible pump motors are also increasing. Earlier only 10 pumps of 7.5 horsepower used to function in the entire area. Now, the areas closer to the rivers use 7.5 horsepower pumps; rest of the areas readily use 25-30 horse power pumps," said Garg.
The constant decline has forced farmers to look for new options every year, which has added to their expenses.
"Every year we have to increase the depth of the pump by 10 feet. This increases our charges by Rs 50,000 and the electric load also increases, which in turn increase our overall expense. Every year we come to this fair to see which pump extracts ample water and is available at what price," said Rashpal Singh, a farmer.
The agriculture sector's growth in Punjab slowed down to a dismal 3.51 percent in 2008-09 due to dwindling water and soil resources, stagnating crop productivity.
That has caused a decline in the state's contribution in the GDP from 23.47 percent in 2003-04 to 19.49 percent in 2008-09. (ANI)