Centre concerned at overuse of groundwater

At a time when concerns among government and policymakers loom large on overuse of scarce groundwater by industry and urban bodies in India, a survey by industry body Ficci has said water shortage has become a major hurdle for industries to carry out their business.

According to the survey, this is the major worry for industries belonging to sectors like thermal power plants, chemicals, textiles, cement and manufacturing. It said the access to water for industries had become difficult and the problem was likely to increase in the coming years. The survey said sectors like pharmaceutical, power, food processing and agriculture, are bearing the brunt of poor water quality.

The Planning Commission, on the other hand, has urged industry and urban areas for controlled management of scarce fresh water. The approach paper to the 12th Five-Year Plan, released recently stressed on the need to reduce  dependence on fresh water, especially the ground water by the industry and urban bodies.

It said the per capita availability of water is going to be substantially reduced in coming years due to over exploitation across the country. The approach paper also advocated for a major hike in investment in water recycling or waste water treatment, which can reduce dependence on fresh water and make a positive impact on water quality.

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia also suggested for proper pricing of water in the country to reduce its excessive use. Experts have pointed out that it is necessary to make a good balance between the needs of industry and government concerns over groundwater depletion.

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