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Groundwater depletion a cause for concern

Staff Reporter

BDA rule is not being implemented


A very few houses have rainwater harvesting system

Plan to act tough against violators, says BDA Chairman


BERHAMPUR: No serious effort is being made to recharge groundwater in Berhampur although the city is facing severe groundwater depletion.

The Berhampur Development Authority (BDA) has made it mandatory for the inhabitants and builders of the city to include a rainwater harvesting system in every plan for buildings that is approved. But, the rule is being flouted extensively in the city. A very few houses have such rainwater harvesting system. Most of the high-rise apartments in the city that depend on groundwater drawn through borewells also do not have any rainwater harvesting system.

BDA Chairman Kailash Sadangi has admitted that non-recharging of groundwater in the city is a matter of concern. “We are planning to initiate strict measures against the buildings that have flouted the plan they got approved from the BDA and have intentionally neglected establishment of rainwater harvesting units in their buildings,” says Mr. Sadangi.

Geologists such as Sunil Rath are of the opinion that this water-scarce city is on the verge of facing severe groundwater depletion in near future if unplanned concretisation and non-recharging of groundwater is continued.

According to him, rapid unplanned concretisation of the city has drastically reduced the scope of groundwater recharging. Depletion of groundwater is evident from the dried-up tubewells and wells in the city. “It is unfortunate that neither the authorities nor the citizens of Berhampur realise the gravity of the situation,” says Mr. Rath.

No open space

Most areas of Berhampur do not have any open space or land patches through which rainwater could percolate underground to add up to the groundwater reserve. Large patches of agricultural land have got converted into concrete jungles.

A canal system that crisscrossed the city has vanished during the past two decades. Concrete buildings leave little space around them to allow water percolate into the ground. So, most of the rainwater in the city gets drained out without seeping into the ground.

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