Jajpur: The groundwater level in six blocks of Odisha has been depleting rapidly. The precarious condition was reflected in recently submitted Groundwater Resources Assessment Report-2020.
The report was jointly prepared by Odisha state level committee (SLC) and the Central high level expert group (HLEG), which stated the condition to be ‘semi-critical’. The six blocks include Korei in Jajpur district, Baliapal in Balasore district, Garadpur in Kendrapara district, Bhubaneswar and Bolagarh blocks in Khurda district and Nuapada block in the namesake district, the report stated.
According to the Groundwater Resources Assessment (GWRA) report, 18,79,150.53 hectare metre (HM) of groundwater gets recharged in Odisha every year. Out of which, 1,53,173.16 HM goes deeper into the ground and is wasted.
On the other hand, 7,01,866.01 HM (amounting to nearly 40.66 per cent) is used for different purposes, of which 5,57,330.55 HM is used in a year for irrigation, 15,684.44 HM used by industries and 1,28,851.02 HM is used for domestic consumption.
Besides, 302 blocks in the state are in better condition in respect to groundwater level and six more have saline water, the report read.
Presently, the Korei block in Jajpur has groundwater of 8,730.67 HM, of which 7,549.86 HM (amounting to nearly 86.48 per cent) is being used in a year for various purposes. Out of the total groundwater used in Jajpur district, 6,868.71 HM is used for irrigation.
Out of the total resources available in other respective districts, 86.30 per cent of groundwater is used in Baliapal block, 74.67 per cent in Garadpur block, 80.34 per cent in Bhubaneswar, 80.37 per cent in Bolagarh and 75.35 per cent in Nuapada, the report mentioned.
Based on the report, Union Water Resources department Secretary Pankaj Kumar had recently written a letter to Odisha Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra requesting the latter to take appropriate steps for the restoration of groundwater levels in the affected six blocks.
Meanwhile, several people pointed out that the land earlier shown as pond has also been withering away. On one hand, the old ponds are not being restored and on the other, the existing ones are being filled up. Permissions are being accorded by the state Water Resources department to many industrial houses for usage of groundwater. As a result, the groundwater levels have been going down, they said.