UP govt gears up for increasing ground water level

UP govt gears up for increasing ground water level

Lucknow: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh is working on a war-footing to increase the level of ground water during the monsoon while making the masses aware about the apprehension of future crisis of drinking water. Forming ''paani-panchayat'' and ''bhujal-sena'' comprising villagers is state government's attempt to check alarming groundwater depletion. Sensitisation of locals and community-led awareness programmes would be taken up to tell people how to use groundwater judiciously while remaining alert to prevent its pollution. Official sources here today said at least 30 per cent of the development blocks in UP have extracted groundwater without recharging the resource ever. "To check its depletion, state government has implemented State Groundwater Conservation Mission in 'stressed' blocks," the sources added. They said the rural mission would be implemented in 271 blocks, including Bundelkhand and Vindhyan region, while the urban part of the campaign will cover 22 cities, including Lucknow, Kanpur, Allahabad, Varanasi, Agra, Aligarh, Meerut, Ghaziabad and Gautam Buddha Nagar. On the other hand, Union Ministry of Water Resources has assessed 271 development blocks as stressed, in urgent need of recharge. These blocks lie in 13 districts of eastern and 25 districts of western UP. They said 70 paani-panchayats and 10 bhujal-senas have been constituted to integrate management of the stressed blocks. Schemes it will integrate are geographical mapping and parameter test of groundwater resources, GIS-mapping, groundwater recharge and rainwater harvesting in over-exploited and critical development blocks. In the 2013 assessment of groundwater was done in 820 blocks of the state by the Union Ministry, depletion was recorded in 659 blocks. As many as 113 blocks were found over-exploited, where withdrawal was more than 100%. At least 59 blocks were critical where water drawn out was between 90 per cent and 100 per cent and 45 were semi-critical where 70 per cent to 90 per cent water drawn out. A block is marked safe if water drawn out is less than 70 per cent. Lucknow has two blocks, Chinhat and Sarojininagar, in over-exploited category while in Kanpur, the Kalyanpur block is in that category. Maximum 11 over-exploited blocks are in Pratapgarh district, followed by 10 in Agra, nine in Saharanpur, seven in Jaunpur, four in Allahabad, three in Ghaziabad and Bulandshahr, two each in Varanasi, Aligarh, Moradabad, Gautambudh Nagar and Meerut. Western UP has 76 and NCR 15 over-exploited blocks, two each in Meerut, Baghpat and Gautambudh Nagar and three each in Bulandshahr, Hapur and Ghaziabad.

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