Vrindavan, 2016.04.23 (VT): Despite being surrounded on three sides by the Yamuna, there is a water crisis in Vrindavan. The water levels are falling revealing a vast spread of sand. The falling water level of Yamuna is being accompanied by declines in the underground water level.
Every year at this time with the dry, hot season, the river’s water levels fall to their lowest point of the year. This year is seeing a drought that covers most of India, becoming acute in some places. So far, Vrindavan is not in the drought zone, thought is lies just outside of it. Nevertheless, pressures are there on the amount of water in the river and the effect this is having on the water supply.
Much of the municipality follows the river bank. But wells in the Kalidaha Ghat, Gau Ghat, Bihar Ghat, Jugal Ghat, Maladhari Akhara, Jagannath Ghat, and Tatia Sthan have seen water levels fall off by as much as five feet. Many of the hand pumps in the city are dry. Persistent decline in the water level is a sign of danger.
According to data gathered by the municipal water works, ground water levels are down by five feet within a kilometer of the river, and down by ten to twelve feet in urban areas. The municipality of Vrindavan has conveyed this information to the district administration.
Ratnesh Saraswat of the municipal water works said that due to falling water levels, municipal pumps at Keshi Ghat, Tatia Sthan and Maladhari Akhara are not drawing water, and in many parts of the city hand pumps are also dry.
Drawing water with submersible pumps
Another cause of falling water levels is the continuous construction going on in the city. Due to lack of oversight from the various Government departments, those building dig deep bore wells and take unlimited water directly from the river using submersible pumps. According to estimates, more than 10,000 submersible pumps in the urban area of Vrindavan. These operate night and day and are said to be the major cause of falling ground water levels.
Not implemented rainwater harvesting
Despite the UP State Government’s strict orders regarding the implementation of rainwater harvesting , no such action is yet being implemented. Rainwater harvesting system have been tested and the Development Authority has passed a general plan.
Water wasted washing vehicles
A new carwash business has sprung up in the town making use of the Municipality’s drinking water line connections and doing brisk activity. Radha Nagar, Mukherjee Park, Bus Stand, Bhainsa Godam, and spots near the municipal offices have become car washing centers. This results in the loss of millions of gallons of drinking water each year. Municipal water works officials say that they will cut the offending shopkeepers’ water connection and take legal action against them.