Maharashtra: Drought in state pushed government to ban digging borewells below 200 feet
The Maharashtra government on Tuesday banned digging of borewell below 200 feet in view of the acute drought in the state.
Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Tuesday banned digging of borewell below 200 feet in view of the acute water crisis in the state.
Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Babanrao Lonikar said here on Tuesday that any violation will invite action under the 'Maharashtra Groundwater Development and Management Act' where violators may face fine or even imprisonment.
"The Maharashtra Groundwater Development and Management Act has to be implemented strictly due to the severe drought conditions prevalent and the depleting water stock. We have spoken to all senior officials and decided to ban the digging of borewells below 200 feet," Lonikar told reporters here.
He said that with the amount of water being drawn out from the ground, it's imperative to control the digging of borewells. It will eventually help in averting drought-related problems, he said.
"While the Act will be implemented strictly, we require participation of the people. Everyone needs to come forward and help us save ground water," he said. Meanwhile, Lonikar said 4,356 tankers are currently being supplied by the state government, out of which, 52 are for Konkan, 831 for Nashik, 303 for Pune, 3,032 for Aurangabad, 131 for Amravati and 7 tankers for Nagpur divisions.
"The government has sanctioned Rs 750 crore for water distribution, out of which Rs 500 crore has already been provided to district collectors. This money will be used for 17 different works like providing water tankers, changing of old pipelines, changing of burnt pumps, fixing of leakages in water tanks etc," Lonikar said.
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Larger-scale efforts to spread water more equitably have been uneven. Along the Deschutes River, where every drop is accounted for, many farmers worry that if they lease their water rights, even temporarily, they may not get them back