Areas with access to fresh groundwater have shrunk drastically in Gurgaon, Faridabad and Sonipat in the past two years.
A Haryana government report on quality of groundwater tabled in the state assembly on Friday revealed how cities of the National Capital Region (NCR) might face a fresh water shortage in the near future.
It stated for instance that the area in Gurgaon with fresh groundwater availability has reduced to 20,904 hectares by June 2014, from 33,538 hectares in June 2012. In percentage terms, in 2014, the area with access to fresh groundwater had reduced to 88%, from 98% in 2012.
State environment minister Captain Abhimanyu tabled the report on salinity in groundwater covering headquarter blocks of Gurgaon, Faridabad, Sonipat, Panipat and Yamunanagar, after Congress MLA Karan Singh Dalal raised the issue. According to the report, areas with access to fresh groundwater in Panipat and Yamunanagar remained unchanged in the past two years. In both, 100% of the area had access to fresh groundwater.
Like Panipat and Yamunanagar, 100% of Faridabad's total area had access to fresh groundwater in 2012. But two years later, the area has shrunk drastically to just 69%. Areas of these cities were declared freshwater zones by the groundwater cell of the state agriculture department, after they examined their 'electrical conductivity range'. "Major sources of water pollution are domestic sewage from residential areas, and trade and effluents from industries," mentioned the minister.
There are 414 water polluting industries in Faridabad, 221 in Gurgaon, 324 in Sonipat, 373 in Panipat and 149 in Yamunanagar. The government claims most have installed effluent treatment plants. The remaining 37 factories in Faridabad, Sonipat and Panipat that had not installed treatment plants, have been closed down by the state pollution control board.
Dalal said the government should raid illegal factories that discharge waste material into borewells. "Farmers should be made aware about the use of fertilizers and chemicals," he said.