Private water tankers in the city at exponentially high rates are feeding the huge demands of high-rise apartments, commercial complexes, group housing societies through bore-wells.
However, in absence of any mechanism, the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) and state ground water department have failed to curb the practice of commercially exploiting underground water, which is a natural resource, by private bore-wells.
An official at state ground water department said, “It’s not in the jurisdiction of the state ground water department to impose penalty or take action against such water suppliers who are withdrawing excessive ground water. If we come across any such case, the department intimates the district administration.”
However, due to the cumbersome process of exchanging reports, these water tankers are moving scot-free and continue to extract water undauntedly.
District collector , Jagroop Yadav, said, “The district administration assists the ground water department to take action against such violators whenever there is such complaints forwarded by them. We verify the complaint and take cognizance. However, not many such complaints are forwarded.” With temperatures regularly breaching the 41-degree mark and water consumption shooting up after PHED cut downs, private water tankers are growing into a profitable business. A source at state ground water department said, “For the past 15 years, department is pressing hard to bring ground water regulation act. As most of the extraction was done by the farmers earlier, the government did not bring this regulation. However, it has become the need of the hour.”
Defying all norms meant to control the extraction and supply, water is been extracted at alarming levels in absence of monitoring. Shakti Singh, resident of Sanganer area said, “The indiscriminate drawing of water from the bore-wells for commercial usage has resulted in a dip in the groundwater level. Our house’s ground water has gone dry due to excessive extraction.”
Experts in the state are worried about the extraction of groundwater by these tubewells that will have an adverse impact in future. “There is an immediate requirement to control excessive extraction. Government is not thinking long term in a desert state where 19 blocks are already in dark zone,” said Ravi Singh, who educates people on water conservation and planting trees.