“The Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh is planning to bring a law to regulate exploitation of ground water in the state.
“This was first mooted in 2005 following a Central government advisory. However, the then Mulayam Singh government feared that restriction on ground water extraction would antagonise the farmer votebank. After coming to power in 2007, Mayawai government drafted a Bill. It took two years for the ground water department to prepare the UP Ground Water Conservation, Protection & Development (Management, Control and Regulation) Bill 2010.
“It was put in public domain for objections and suggestions. The Bill was opposed by the industrial and business lobby as it proposed strict regulation on extraction of ground water in multi-storey buildings and use of heavy pumps to draw water.
“As per a study of the state ground water board, state’s dependency on ground water resources has doubled over the years but the capacity to recharge aquifers through rain water harvesting have gone down.
“The situation is grim in 60 of the 71 districts. There are over 630 townships in the state, mostly dependent on ground water. Over 60% of total water demand of industries is being met through ground water resources. Nearly 70% of agriculture is dependent on tube-wells and rain water. The number of state tube-wells is over 28,000, deep tube-well over 17,000 and shallow private tube wells around 40 lakhs.
“As the situation is turning from bad to worse with each passing year, a senior official told TOI that the state government is seriously considering to bring the Bill in the assembly for enactment despite opposition from some quarters. ”
Read more: Times of India