By Ashis Chakraborty
The author is Regional Director, Central Ground Water Board, Raipur, Chhattisgarh
The strain on Chhattisgarh’s water resources can be adjudged from the fact that there is a four-fold increase in ground water draft from 1990 to 2004. In fact, the stage of groundwater development has galloped from 3.31 to 20.43 per cent. It is perhaps time that we realise that water is a collective responsibility and that we all need to participate in conserving water resources in a socially equitable and ecologically sustainable manner.
Of Chhattisgarh’s near two crore population, 80 per cent are heavily dependant on agriculture and allied activities as recently documented in the State Focus Paper by NABARD. The net sown area is 34 per cent of the total geographical area of the State, while the net irrigated area is just 24 per cent of the net sown area, rainfed paddy constituting the staple crop. Although there is tremendous scope for judicious groundwater development in many parts of the State, dwindling...