January 17, 2022 1:03:35 am
Amid depleting water level in Haryana, nearly 41% villages of the state have been found in the category of “groundwater stressed” while 18% have been found in the classification of “potential groundwater stressed”. The groundwater cell of the state irrigation department has prepared these figures based on its data procured from field units and Central Ground Water Authority.
Based on these figures, the Haryana Water Resources (conservation, regulation and management) Authority has put 1,780 villages in the red category identifying them as severely groundwater stressed villages while 1,041 villages have been put in the pink zone as they were found in the “groundwater stressed” category. The state has a total of 6,885 villages.
The villages which have more than 30-metre depth to the water table have been put in the red category while the villages with the groundwater table at more than 20 metres will be known in pink areas. As many as 1,807 villages have been identified in potential groundwater stressed category as the same have groundwater table in the range of 10-20 metres.
Through a public notice, the Haryana Water Resources Authority (HWRA) has urged the people to inform it if they have any suggestion or objection on the category of their village concerned so that effective policy decisions or remedial measures for water management can be taken. Authority chairperson Keshni Anand Arora says: “The village level categorisation will assist in awareness generation and will be useful in the micro-level planning of policies and remedial action with regard to the groundwater management of the villages as against the adoption of present block level categorisation.”
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With groundwater being exploited at a fast pace in several parts of Haryana, the state authorities have planned to take care of every village to check the depleting water level in these areas.
State project director of Atal Bhujal Yojna Satbir Singh Kadian says: “The groundwater has been overexploited in 85 of the total 141 blocks of the state. A water security plan will be formulated for each of the villages in 85 blocks. We will tell the villagers how long the groundwater will sustain if its exploitation continues at the current pace. We will ask them whether they wish to remain without groundwater in future. Alternative crops in place of paddy to save the water will be suggested apart from telling the ways for water conservation and artificial recharge of groundwater. The call to decide the fate of their future will be left on the community itself. This formula has yielded positive results in different parts of the world.”
The state has only 1,261 good groundwater potential villages. As many as 85 villages have been put in severe waterlogged category while 319 villages have been identified as potential waterlogged villages. Talking about the problem of salinity and waterlogging, a senior officer says: “These villages may become unfit for cultivation in future if things do not change. Some of the areas of Rohtak, Sonipat and Jhajjar are waterlogged and have saline water while in Kurukshetra and Kaithal, the water depletion is a major problem. So, we are making water plans at the district level while asking the DCs to prioritise areas concerned. The groundwater balance of every village and every block will be checked keeping in view the demand and supply for the area concerned.”
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