Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 10:
The depleting groundwater level in the Odisha capital has become a major cause of concern for planners.
In the past five years, the groundwater level has shrunk by as much as in major areas of the capital city, according to a survey.
With monsoon playing truant, deficit rainfall and excessive drawing of ground water through bore wells in the absence of pipe water supply has contributed to groundwater depletion.
Chandrasekharpur and Aiginia are among the worst hit with groundwater level falling rapidly in these two areas in the city.
Before the onset of monsoon, groundwater level is measured each year. As per the records of the past five years, the groundwater level in Aiginia was 4.55 meter in 2009 which slipped to 2.78 meter in 2014. Likewise, the groundwater level in Chandrasekharpur area, which was 5.95 meter in 2009, has now dropped to 4.82, a decrease of 3 meter in just five years.
The water level in Baramunda, which was 5.95 meter in 2009, has now reached to a level of 4.82 meter. In Patia, it was 5.60 meter and now it is 5.44 meter. In Dharma Vihar, it is 5.95 meter as against 4.18 meter. In Dumduma, it is 3.70 meter as against 2.05 meter. In Jagamara, it is 4.70 meter as against 4.51 meter.
Similarly, the groundwater level in Jaydev Vihar area was 4.67 meter which has now gone down to 3.33 meter. In Shastri Nagar area, the level is 3.60 meter as compared to 3.85 meter previously. In Forest Park area, the level is 5.45 meter which was earlier at 6.50 meter. In the Unit IV area, the level is 5.05 meter which was earlier at 5.46 meter. In the Unit VI area, it was at 7.20 meter which is now at 5.57 meter. In the Unit VIII area, the level was at 6.95 last year as compared to 7.21 meter previously.
According to environmentalists, the city receives around 1,500 mm of rainfall every year, but the number of rainy days has gone down. Earlier, the average rainfall was from 70 to 82 days during the three-month monsoon season, but it has dropped to 60 now.
Vanishing of forest cover has also contributed to less rainfall. The natural water sources in the city such as ponds, wells, have dried up. Many bore wells are now lying defunct. The length of pipes put inside the bore wells is increasing with the fall in groundwater level as a result of which potable water is not coming out of it, an environmentalist said.
“Around 200 million litres per day (MLD) water is supplied to Bhubaneswar every day of which 180 MLD is released as waste water. Only 10 percent of the waste water is absorbed into the ground. Around 20, 000 people are living in the Chandrasekharpur area and water pipeline has been supplied till Damana. Due to this, people in Sailashree Vihar and Niladri Vihar area are digging bore wells in their premises to meet the water requirements. The groundwater depletion has resulted due to digging of bore wells. We would extend the pipelines to these areas to improve the situation,” Executive Engineer PH Division-III, Bhubaneswar, Bhakta Kabi Das said.