The Time Of India, 6 July 2014, Hyderabad: That groundwater levels have been on a constant decline, both in Telangana and And hra Pradesh, isn’t new. But latest piezometer readings compiled by the groundwater department (Telangana), reveal that the worst-hit region in India’s 29th state is the Medak district, sitting pretty on the fringes of the joint capital. Ironically, the ‘driest constituency’ in this district is Gajwel, represented by none other than chief minister, K Chandrasekhar Rao himself.
So, while groundwater in the rest of the state is available at an average depth of 10.42 metres (June, 2014 data), in Medak the same is available at a minimum 14.70 metres. In Gajwel, the figure touches a startling 20 metres (approx). While one mandal (Wargal) in the constituency is well endowed with water (groundwater level: 5.45m), the levels in the rest of the five are abysmally low. In fact, in its Mulugu mandal a farmer has to drill as deep as 33.30m (avg) to hit groundwater. “With poor monsoon, tapping underground water will become even more difficult for farmers as over-exploitation of groundwater and absence of irrigation projects has plummeted the average watertable here. The three bore-wells I drilled have yielded water at an average depth of 91-106 m,” said, B Dayanand Reddy, CPI secretary of Medak district, who owns a 10 acre land in Jagdevpur mandal.
Incidentally, Jagdevpur mandal not only forms part of the six mandals in CM KCR’s Gajwel constituency but is also home to his agricultural farm at Erravelli village, a distance of 50km from Hyderabad. Sadly, his towering presence has not helped in improving the groundwater of the mandal in particular and his constituency in general.
Official piezometer reading obtained from Munigadapa village in Jagdevpur mandal (five km from Erravelli village in the same mandal), shows the average depth of groundwater at 19.94 metres as on June, 2014, much below Medak district’s average depth. “At present the situation is grave. Things will improve only if the state drafts a comprehensive policy to take up de-siltation in all the estimated 10,000 age-old small and medium water bodies in summer, strengthen their bunds and repair sluice gates,” suggested, S Shoury Reddy, executive director of Bala Vikasa an NGO that has been working in this field for long.
While admitting to exploitation of groundwater in the district, G Sambaiah, director, T-groundwater department, said: “We are working on an action plan by thoroughly studying these areas. We will submit our proposal to the government shortly.”