Attar Singh who says he lives in Prahladgarhi Village in Vasundhara claims that his hand pump had suddenly become redundant due to indiscriminate harnessing of water through submersible pumps by residents of Prahladgarhi Village in his vicinity. Water table in this village is falling down every year, despite the village being a rich source of water, once having ponds that are nowhere to be seen, having been encroached upon now.
Several residents of Prahladgarhi and nearby colonies said that due to frequent use of submersible pumps many hand pumps have gone dry as the water table has fallen down. In nearby Vasundhara sectors the same story is repeated despite the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA)—functioning under CGWB, after NGT orders, having prescribed- that submersible/ energized pumps can only be used if the colony does not have municipal or public water supply. Domestic use of submersible pumps can be found in Sectors 1-19 in Vasundhara and most sectors of Vaishali.
However, residents of Vasundhara and Vaishali are divided over the issue. According to Ritika Jain of Vaishali, “We live in high-rise apartments where water supply has always been erratic. The government should first ensure that proper water supply is given to residents first.” Residents echoed similar sentiments. According to them, indiscriminate use of motor pumps should b curtailed but only when adequate water supply is provided to residents.
However, according to Akash Vashishtha, green activist, many people are using submersibles not just due to lack of adequate water supply, but because it has become a habit with them to do so. He added that the NGT order has clearly stated that the CGWA enforce this ban through the district administration of both Ghaziabad and Hapur and it is the duty of the administration to enforce this ban fully.
Eminent citizens of Ghaziabad like (Retd) Col. TP Tyagi have time and again raised their voice about indiscriminate extraction of water—both by the industry and by the people as well. Their RWA associations have pointed out to a need to find a middle way to deal with the problem.
A few days back, Y.B. Kaushik, Regional Director of CGWB had told this Editor that the NGT order can only be enforced in a time-bound way as people have been using submersibles in their homes and it will take some time to streamline things.
Some residents pointed out that since the newly elected councillors of the Ghaziabad Nagar Nigam from Vaishali and Vasundhara would soon take oath, it will be demanded from them to address the need for better supply of water from the Nagar Nigam and to stop the use of submersible pumps that are damaging the water table.