Fadnavis govt set to ban digging of borewells beyond 200 feet

In order to check the steep decline in groundwater level across Maharashtra, the state government has decided to ban digging of borewells beyond 200 feet.

hidden May 13, 2015 11:12:06 IST
Fadnavis govt set to ban digging of borewells beyond 200 feet

Mumbai: In order to check the steep decline in groundwater level across Maharashtra, the state government has decided to ban digging of borewells beyond 200 feet. Violators will face a fine or even imprisonment in case of repeated offence.

The decision comes in the wake of farmers and private players resorting to digging new borewells on agriculture land due to water scarcity during Summer .

The move is part of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' ambitious water conservation project-- 'Jalayukta Shivar Yojana'-- that promises to make 5,000 villages in the state drought-free in one year.

Fadnavis govt set to ban digging of borewells beyond 200 feet

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. AFP

"The level of ground water is sinking by the day and the use of water is rising steeply. The condition in the Marathwada region and Buldhana and Amravati districts is especially bad, where borewells have been dug almost 1,000 feet underground, but no water was found," State Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Babanrao Lonikar told PTI.

"In order to conserve water under the Jalayukta Shivar Yojana, we have decided to ban digging of borewells 200 feet below ground level," he added.

According to the minister, FIRs will be registered against those who violate the rule and licenses of vehicles involved in digging of borewells beyond 200 feet will be suspended.

"If a person violates the ban for the first time, he will face a fine of Rs 10,000 in addition to the suspension of the vehicle's licence. If the violation is repeated, he will face imprisonment of six months or a fine of Rs 25,000 or both," Lonikar said.

"District collectors and tehsildars have beeninstructed to keep a strict vigil on the digging of borewells," he added. Lonikar said attempts are being made to save water in ponds and rivers.

PTI

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