Governance

As told to Parliament (July 1, 2019): India world’s largest groundwater user

All that was discussed in the House through the day

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Thursday 08 August 2019
Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images Photo: Getty Images

India largest groundwater user
According to the World Bank, India uses the maximum groundwater in the world, the Union Jal Shakti Ministry informed Parliament.

According to the World Bank’s latest assessment in 2013, the Annual Replenishable Ground Water Resource of the country is 447 billion cubic meter (BCM) and the Net Annual Ground Water Availability is 411 BCM. The Annual Ground Water Draft (utilisation) for various uses is 253 BCM.

Oxygen-deficient rivers   

Oxygen is deficient in many of India’s rivers, the Jal Shakti Ministry told Parliament.

According to the data it presented, 574 out of 1,755 locations monitored along various rivers had Dissolved Oxygen (DO) level less than 5 milligram/litre.

Twenty-six per cent of these locations were found to be in just two states — Maharashtra (99) and Assam (49).

Drinking contaminated drinking water
Out of a total 17,25,808 rural habitations in India, 58,037 are getting water from sources like groundwater, surface water and others, which may be containing chemical contaminants stated the Jal Shakti ministry in the Rajya Sabha. The matter is under consideration of the Union government, the ministry added.

No EIA for Chardham
Mandatory Environment Impact Assessment was not required for projects under the Chardham programme for the improvement and widening of National Highways.

However, adequate mitigative measures to protect ecology and environment have been taken, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari told the Rajya Sabha.

Under the programme, projects of 889 km have been undertaken by Gadkari’s ministry at a total projected cost of Rs 11,700 crores. 

The programme was initially targeted for completion by March 2020. But it has been delayed due to litigation related to forest and environment clearance in various tribunal/courts and its exact date of completion depends on the final outcome of the ongoing litigation. 

Land delays road projects

A total of 453 developmental projects under the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways have been delayed mainly due to land acquisition, utility shifting, non-availability of soil/aggregate, poor performance of contractors, environment/forest/wildlife clearances, issues with the Railways and public agitation for additional facilities.

This was stated by minister Nitin Gadkari in the Rajya Sabha. 

No mining land data
Land for mining purposes is acquired either through voluntary agreement between the land owner and the miner or land acquisition by the requiring bodies/respective states/union territories.

Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister of Mines, Coal and Parliamentary Affairs said this in response to a question on whether tribal lands are being acquired for large scale mining.

He added that coal-bearing lands, including tribal ones, are acquired for coal public sector units according to their requirement under the Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act, 1957. Therefore, information regarding the acquisition of the land including tribal land for mining activities is not centrally maintained.

Nellore DMF unspent                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Up to May 19, 2019, an amount of Rs 27.68 crore has been collected in Nellore district under the District Mineral Fund (DMF). But, 251 projects worth Rs 22.12 crore have been sanctioned till May 2019 and Rs 7.92 crore has been spent so far.

Due to the Model Code of Conduct during the Lok Sabha polls, some projects were not started and new projects were not identified.

The state will take all efforts to increase the utilisation under DMF in Nellore district, said  Prahalad Joshi.

 

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