Government plans to revive Groundwater Board

Government plans to revive Groundwater Board

Government plans to revive Groundwater Board

Taking serious note of the depleting groundwater levels in the State, the government is making all-out efforts to revive the Groundwater Board.

Law Minister T B Jayachandra told reporters that three taluks in three separate districts are facing a critical situation due to groundwater being exploited up to 90 per cent.

Another 58 taluks in 20 districts are facing serious concerns over rejuvenating the water table in a semi-critical condition.

“The prime reason for this is the ad-hoc drilling of borewells for irrigation purpose. With a lot of water-intensive crops being grown using borewell water, there is overexploitation of the water table. We need to control this,” said the minister.

Jayachandra said the defunct Groundwater Board needs to be revived.

The Board faced the wrath of farmers for trying to control the use of water in their own lands.

As a result, despite the Board coming into existence in 2010, it never functioned.

The State has decided to speed up the process of setting up the Directorate of Groundwater Control.

It has sanctioned the creation of 241 posts for controlling the drilling of ad-hoc borewells and for rejuvenating groundwater.

“We will try to push for this directorate, with powers to take punitive action if farmers do not seek approval from relevant authorities to dig borewells in their lands,” he said.

He said that the government was toying with the idea of withholding subsidies to farmers, in case they do not stop the use of their borewells in their lands.

Minister for Municipal Administration, Qamar-Ul-Islam, has said that the department has released Rs 80 crore towards providing drinking water facilties to 211 urban local bodies in the State.

‘No dearth of funds’

Speaking to reporters, the minister said that there was no dearth of funds.

An amount of Rs 100 crore is available to make provisions for drinking water across these ULBs.

After holding a meeting on the drinking water scenario in Bangalore (Rural), Minister of State for Agriculture Krishna Byre Gowda, who is the incharge minister of the district, told reporters that Rs 3.5 crore had been released for drilling new borewells and electrifying them.

As many as 120 villages were facing drinking water shortage in the district, he said.