Ban on new borewells alone not a solution: Greens

Integrated approach to protect water table suggested

The move comes in the backdrop of the depleting groundwater level in the district. Also, in a bid to protect tanks in the district, mining and transportation of sand has been banned. Those violating the ban will be dealt with severely, the district administration has said. The ban on borewells is aimed at preventing the supply of fluoridated water and to stop the imbalance that rampant sinking of borewells is causing to the environment.

The rampant sand mining is leading to a shortage of sand on the banks of water bodies like tanks. The tanks are drying up, with no control on the flow of water. The district, which is facing problems due to lack of any river originating from here, faces the danger of turning into a desert with the drying up of the tanks.

The ban on sinking of borewells and sand mining is a measure to prevent this from happening, says the district administration. Interestingly, MLAs N Sampangi and H N Shivashankara Reddy had, at a recent meeting of the District Vigilance Committee, sought permission for the mining and transportation of sand.

The MLAs had even alleged that “some people were being shown lenience on the issue of sand”. The DC had said sand transportation would be possible only after sand is brought from other district and stored in Chikkaballapur district.

Meanwhile, farmers are facing problems with water not being available even after sinking borewells that are 1,500 feet to 2,000 feet deep, thus affecting agriculture activities.
“The ban is welcome, but that alone will not solve the problems.

Alternative steps like a permanent irrigation project should be taken up before groundwater goes down completely. Efforts should be made to provide fluoride-free water to the people. Steps should be taken to desilt tanks,” say the environmentalists in the district.

All’s not well

Taluk    Borewells sunk    Total number 
in 2010        of sites
Chikkaballapur    32        733
Chintamani    50        919     
Gouribidanur    11        1,189
Shidlaghatta    08        886       
Bagepalli    22        960
Gudibande    10        382       
Total    133        5,069   

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