Directorate to be set up to monitor extraction of groundwater

Directorate to be set up to monitor extraction of groundwater

Despite an existing Karnataka Groundwater Authority (KGA) established two years ago, the monitoring of groundwater extraction has not been effective in the City.

By April 2014, government is contemplating to set up a Groundwater Directorate, a designated office with officers to look into the registration of borewells and rig owners, said G Sudharshan, regional director, Central Ground Water Board (CGWB).

Speaking to presspersons here on Thursday, Sudharshan said one member of CGWB is in the KGA to guide the authority in permitting new borewells in the City.

Designated staff

The government order was issued on November 23, 2013 to constitute a Groundwater Directorate with designated staff of 241 members of different cadre.

Sources from the Minor Irrigation department said the GO was framed to implement the rules of the Karnataka Ground Water (Regulation and Control of Development and Management) Act, 2011. Having a director in place will ensure efficient registration of borewells and rig owners, sources added.

Speaking at a workshop on ‘Water conservation - retrospect and prospects’ here on Thursday, T M Vijay Bhaskar, additional chief secretary, Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, said there was a need to reduce dependence on groundwater.

Artificial tanks

“A large percentage of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme funds are being used for water conservation methods creating artificial tanks for storage of water. Nearly Rs 1,000 crore has been spent by the department towards the scheme,” he added.

Vijay Bhaskar said Kolar, Chikkaballapur and Chitradurga are the districts that frequently face water crisis.

Groundwater experts, who spoke at the workshop, recommended for comprehensive and realistic information pertaining to various aspects of groundwater resources available through a process of systematic existing data collection, data gap analysis, data generation and data synthesis through aquifer mapping.