Raipur: To deal with the looming water crises in the drought-hit Chhattisgarh, Chief Minister Raman Singh on Sunday appealed citizens to conserve and preserve ground water resources for future generation.
In his recorded monthly radio address 'Raman Ke Goth' that went on air via 'Akashvani' today, he said "nature has bestowed us with sufficient amount of groundwater for drinking and other needs. But since recently we have noticed that because of undue exploitation of groundwater hand-pumps and drinking water sources have dried up".
"It is a big problem and challenge we are facing. If thousands of villages face drinking water crises, can we arrange water for them through tankers Definitely not! Keeping in view this giant problem, we should take some serious steps in the direction.
"Groundwater is a valuable asset, we should use it responsibly so that we can save it for our future generation as well," he said.
Singh said that Father of the national Mahatma Gandhi had said nature provide us enough to fulfil our needs but not to satisfy our greed.
Citing an example of Rajnandgaon district while highlighting the overuse of ground water, he said "If I talk about one district, Rajnandgaon has 17,600 hand-pumps and over 31,000 power pumps. Use of so many power pumps lead to a decline in groundwater level.
"The summer paddy crop requires a lot of water supply. 3000 litre water is required for 1kg of paddy. If 100 pumps are operating in one village, then soon the groundwater-level in that village will decline," he said.
In many villages, it has been witnessed that despite having surface water source of irrigation, through which farmers may easily irrigate their crops, there also peasants are using power pumps for irrigation, the CM added.
This situation doesn't seem good, he said, adding that "as far as possible we should use the surface water source for irrigation and save ground water for next generation."
Singh also claimed that undue exploitation of groundwater leads to contamination of water from hand-pumps with harmful fluoride content making it unfit for use.
"In 2009, there were only three four villages in the state that faced the problem of fluoride content in water. But now this number has increased to 405, and the main reason for this is excessive use of groundwater," he said.
"Hence, I not (only) appeal but pray you to conserve groundwater in your respective villages, hamlets and also use rainwater harvesting technique for groundwater augmentation," Singh added.
Besides, the Chief Minister also asked to make?structures for water harvesting technique in panchayat buildings, school buildings and other government buildings.
Notably, as many as 117 tehsils of the state?were declared as 'drought-hit' following the shortfall in rains during the previous Kharif crop season.