Patna,(BiharTimes): Though Patna is surrounded by rivers virtually from all sides the underground water table here has gone down by 10 to 15 feet in recent years.
Experts like hydro-geologist Sudama Upadhyaya of Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) attribute this to the over-exploitation of groundwater, the only source of supply in the city, through deep tubewells. They are causing the groundwater reservoir deplete faster than it is being replenished.
As summer temperature goes up many shallow tubewells have got dried up with sand filling the pipes, leading to complete breakdown of tubewells. Though the average annual rainfall over Patna is fairly high––about 1,000 mm per annum––the bulk of rainwater is lost through surface run-off.
The gradual disappearance of ponds and other open surface water bodies that help recharge the groundwater reservoir through slow seepage are to be blamed for this fall in underground water table. As if that was not enough, Ganga too shifted away from Patna and remains dry for most part of the year.
Apart from that, out of 530km of water pipelines of Patna, 475km have already been rendered obsolete. As a result, pipes either leak or burst quite frequently. So the people of Patna often get polluted water causing diseases and epidemics.
Urban development minister Prem Kumar announced in the state Assembly during the last Budget Session that work on sinking of 31 tubewells to supply safe drinking water to the residents of Patna would start in the current financial year. But, the work is yet to start and the residents continue to suffer.
But Patna is not the lone city facing this problem. Other cities and towns of the state are too facing serious water crisis with water table going down constantly. The crisis is more in the district having border with the highlands of Jharkhand.