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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF JAL SHAKTI
LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 298
ANSWERED ON:  03.02.2022
Ground Water Resources Assessment
Manish Tewari
Will the Minister of



JAL SHAKTI be pleased to state:-


(a) whether it is a fact that according to Ground Water Resources Assessment-2017, the ground water in eighty per cent of the blocks in Punjab are over-exploited, if so, the details thereof and the reasons therefor; (b) whether it is a fact that arsenic is a toxic substance hazardous to human health and in atleast 13 blocks of the State of Punjab, its occurrence is more than the safe limit of 0.01 mg/l including in block Ropar where it has been reported as high as 0.07 mg/l;
(c) if so, the details and the reasons therefor; and
(d) the details of the steps being taken by the Government to prevent the contamination of ground water?


ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR JAL SHAKTI

(SHRI BISHWESWAR TUDU)

(a) As per the 2017 ground water assessment, carried out jointly by Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) and State Government, out of 138 assessment units (Blocks) in Punjab, 109 units (78.9 %) have been categorized as ‘over-exploited’. Further, as per the 2020 assessment, out of 150 assessment units in Punjab, 117 units (78 %) have been categorized as ‘over-exploited’. Ground water levels in some parts of the Country are declining because of continuous withdrawal necessitated by increased demand of fresh water for various uses, vagaries of rainfall, increased population, industrialization & urbanization etc.

(b) & (c) Information as received from State Government of Punjab indicates that 790 habitations (from rural areas) spread across 17 districts are affected with arsenic out of which 29 habitations (with arsenic contamination ranging between 0.11 mg/litre to 0.46 mg/litre) are in Ropar district. Arsenic contamination in ground water is generally due to geo-genic factors.

(d) Water being a State subject, initiatives on water management, including preventing the contamination of groundwater is primarily States’ responsibility. However, various steps have been taken by the Central Government in this regard in the country. Some of them are given as under:

To address the contamination problems in drinking water, Government of India in collaboration with States is implementing Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) since August, 2019 to provide potable tap water supply of prescribed quality to every rural household in the country including Punjab by 2024. Under JJM priority is given to quality-affected habitations.

Similarly, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs is implementing Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) in selected 500 cities and towns across the country for development of basic urban infrastructure including safe water supply.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in association with State Pollution Control Boards/Pollution Control Committees (SPCBs/PCCs) is implementing the provisions of the Water (Prevention & Control) Act, 1974 and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 in the country to prevent and control pollution in water.
Guidelines have been notified by the Department on 24 September 2020 for control and regulation of groundwater extraction with pan-India applicability. The guidelines include suitable provisions on measures to be adopted to control groundwater pollution.

In addition, the quality of groundwater can be improved to some extent if concerted efforts are made to improve the groundwater resources through appropriate groundwater recharge/rainwater harvesting. Government of India has taken a number of initiatives in this direction which can be seen at URL:http://jalshakti-dowr.gov.in/sites/default/files/Steps_to_control_water_ depletion_Feb2021.pdf.


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