Dipping groundwater levels in city worry SC

A report filed by the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) in the Supreme Court has raised an alarm over depleting groundwater levels in Delhi.

The CGWB’s May 2018 report stated that there is “over-exploitation of groundwater in South district, New Delhi district, South-East district, East district, Shahdara, North-East district and almost rest of Delhi is in a semi-critical state”.

“There are only some pockets in West district and Central district which appear to be safe as of now,” the board said in its report.

Govts given one week

A Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta has given the Union Water Resources Secretary, the Delhi government and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee one week to spell out the “possible solutions” to the crisis.

Terming the situation grave, the court posted the case for hearing on July 11.

It added that the report needs to be studied in greater depth as it indicates “an extremely sad state of affairs”.

The report concludes that analysis of long-term water level data from May 2000 to May 2017 reveals that areas categorised as “over-exploited” as per Groundwater Resources Estimation of 2013 are mostly in South, South-East, New Delhi, East, North, North-East, and also parts of West and South-West districts of Delhi.

In these areas, groundwater level has declined at a rate varying from 0.5 metres every year to more than two metres per year.

“There are some pockets where change in water level is not significant or has remained unchanged. Such pockets of shallow and rising water level areas are diminishing. As such, major parts of Delhi are in the ‘over-exploited’ and ‘semi-critical’ categories, and in such areas water levels are showing persistent declining trend during the last two decades,” the board reported.

The court urged authorities dealing with governance of Delhi “to look into the Central Ground Water Board report to avoid a water crisis”.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 10:39:23 PM |

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