Saturday, November 25, 2006

Borewells deplte water table in city

Borewells deplte water table in city
Vijay Times

The warning bells are ringing. The uncontrolled digging of borewells in Bangalore is finally showing signs of parts of City coming to the brink of a major water crisis.

East Bangalore, including Lingarajapuram, Banaswadi, Hennur and surrounding areas in Bangalore Urban, and areas, including Devanahalli, Doddaballapur, Nelamangala and Hoskote in Bangalore Rural, are likely to be the first areas to face crisis. And, this crisis may not have a solution, feel Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board and mines and geology department officials.

The danger signals are showing mainly due to sudden increase in residential construction activity in these areas, which is accompanied by digging of borewells, many of them unaccounted for.

According to BWSSB records, there are 6,235 borewells maintained by the Board, while 43,000 are residential borewells, which are accounted for.

According to BWSSB chief engineer (maintenance) T Venkataraju, there are one lakh borewells, which means an unestimated number is unauthorised. As a result, the ground water table is dropping fast.

To compound the situation, there is little place for ground water to get recharged within the City limits.

As the rain water is not percolating down due to major concreting of land, the groundwater recharging is not happening, says N Chandran, senior geologist, mines and geology department.

BWSSB officials say due to this, the average depth at which water can be found is 700 feet, which is too deep to make an effort. Worse, whatever water resource is available underground is getting murkier, they added.

The rate at which borewells are being dug, this effort would only get tougher in future.

H B Devendra Swamy, a retired deputy chief drilling engineer, mines and geology department, says the groundwater level in the critical areas like Devanahalli, Doddaballapur and Sidlaghatta has almost been exhausted.

He says recharge of groundwater is what the government is aiming at. In order to achieve that, check dams have been planned in Sidlaghatta. There should be restrictions in the grant of permission for digging borewells, he said.


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