One of India’s leading metropolitan cities, Bengaluru, might soon be in trouble to the extent that it may need to be evacuated.
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The above situation came into highlight recently, when a residential complex near Bellandur Junction had to drill a deep borewell to find water for residents.
Talking about its depth, a local resident, Ajith Kaverappa said:
“This is the sixth borewell we got drilled in 10 years. And we are not sure how long water would last in this one.”
This is also not the lone area where residents are facing water troubles, as recently built apartments on Sarjapur Road, Bellandur, Bannerghatta Road, Whitefield, Yelahanka and Marathahalli, too face similar problems.
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Villages in the area too are facing similar situation, about 450km away from Bengaluru, the Gadar village in Raichur, Karnataka, Devendrappa, a 73-year-old farmer, had to dig a borewell that is 1,020 feet deep before he found water. He fondly recalls how he just had to drill for a 30 feet the first time he did it the late 1980s.
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When the state government was contacted about the situation, a senior hydrologist said:
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“The average annual rainfall in Karnataka is 1,248 mm. But the estimated 20 lakh borewells in the state draw almost three-and-a-half times of the amount (rainfall) received to recharge the groundwater. Hence, it’s no surprise that most borewells have gone deeper, even up to 1,000 feet, and the ones which aren’t as deep have run dry.”
He then went on to add:
“Water tables in urban areas are depleting due to increasing population and the expansion of piped drinking water. And it is declining in rural areas because of the reduction in recharge areas as a result of lakes and ponds dying.”
The situation in Bengaluru’s surrounding areas like Chikkaballapur, Tumakuru, Ramanagaram and Kolar, is worse with the government already having proposed a Rs 10,000-crore Yettinahole project to get water and quench the thirst of people in these districts.
But the project has already been grounded due to protests and technical reasons, and that is not good news according to some water experts who say:
“Over exploitation of groundwater for decades and lack of remedial measures have been impacting the level of groundwater in these districts. If the Yettinahole project fails to see the light of day, people may be forced to migrate from these areas in 10 years,”
Not much can be done about the industries as Karnataka, as it is one of the top five industrialized states in India.
Though the legislation also said that it would be mandatory to make rooftop rain water harvesting systems, it had little impact as these laws still have not been implemented properly.
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