AMC Called Out For Drawing Groundwater Illegally From Borewells 

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AMC Called Out For Drawing Groundwater Illegally From Borewells 

| Updated: February 14, 2023 14:19

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) was given 81 government-owned lakes in the city to boost the groundwater level and develop new areas for recreation in August 2022. However, it still remains among the biggest lawbreakers as it draws more than 110 million litres of groundwater “illegally” every day from 598 unregistered borewells in the city.

Taking note of the same, the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) has now issued a showcause notice to Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) directing the civic body to “register the borewells and obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) before drawing water from these sources.” 

The escalation comes after a series of warnings to AMC, which remains the largest consumers of groundwater in the city. In December 2018, the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation issued a gazette notification seeking compulsory registration of borewells. As a follow up, the CGWB then sent a notice in 2019 to the municipal commissioner informing that the registration was yet to be done. 

“Then came the pandemic and lockdown period during which attention on the matter was low. However, last year, the issue again picked up pace and finally in September 2002, the CGWB made the NOC mandatory for authorities or units within GIDC with a daily consumption of 10 kilo litres and above. Since then, the board received nearly 10,000 applications from industrial and commercial units, of which 4,000 have been duly processed. In contrast, the CGWB received only 10 applications from residential societies, while the AMC with 598 functional borewells in the city, did not submit any such request,” shared a senior functionary in the civic body’s water department. 

Of the 598 borewells, 309 are isolated/ abandoned while water is drawn from 289 and sent to the municipal water distribution stations. In all, the AMC draws nearly 110 million litres daily (MLD) from the borwells, while it is equipped to draw nearly 300 MLD. 

Further, the AMC caters to a population of nearly 72 lakhs. A drinking water network of 4,500 km  has been laid in the city. 

The GCWB recently released a block-wise groundwater resources assessment report for 2022. The report details the status of all 7,089 blocks in the country, of which 252 are in Gujarat. Of these, while 189 are in the safe category, 23 have been bracketed into the “over-exploited” lot.

Ahmedabad, North Gujarat and Kutch blocks have been included in the over-exploited group.

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