Water crunch deepens in Maha, curbs on digging borewells
With only three per cent water left in dams in drought-hit Marathwada region, the severity of water crunch in Maharashtra has deepened, prompting the state government to ban digging of borewells below 200 feet to check further depletion of groundwater.
The decision came close on the heels of cut in water supply to industrial units, including breweries in the severely-affected Aurangabad district.
Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Babanrao Lonikar said any violation of the decision on borewells would invite action under the ‘Maharashtra Groundwater Development and Management Act’. He added that violators might face fine or even imprisonment.
“The provisions of the Act concerned has to be implemented strictly due to severe drought conditions prevalent and the depletion of water stock. We have spoken to all senior officials and decided to ban the digging of borewells below 200 feet,” Lonikar said.
He said with the amount of water being drawn out from ground, it was imperative to control the digging of borewells, which would eventually help in averting drought- related problems. “While the Act will be implemented strictly, we require participation of people. Everyone needs to come forward and help us save groundwater,” he said.
According to an official of the Maharashtra Irrigation department, dams across the state have only 19 per cent water left compared to 32 per cent at this time last year.