Karimnagar: Groundwater exploitation is becoming rampant in command areas of erstwhile Karimnagar district. The water table has fallen drastically due to the indiscriminate withdrawal of groundwater. In a month, the water table has dropped by more than one metre.
The fall is high in command areas where water was being drawn indiscriminately by farmers to protect standing crops especially paddy. Despite the agriculture department’s request to go for ID (irrigated dry) crops, farmers are showing interest in paddy, which requires huge quantity of water.
Except in some areas where water is not available, a majority of the farmers are cultivating paddy in old Karimnagar. It was rampant in command areas like Karimnagar, Jagtial and Peddapalli divisions which have been covered by Sri Ram Sagar Project canal.
Besides SRSP canal, farmers are depending on borewells to supply water to their paddy crops. The 24 hours free power supply being provided by the State government, has become more advantage for paddy growers.
As there was no charge for power, farmers are drawing water continuously. As a result, groundwater table has fallen to a record level depth in command areas.
For instance, the water table has fallen to a 2.06-meter depth within a month period in Choppadnadi of Karimnagar district. It went down to 18.32 meters depth in March 2018 from 16.26 meter in February this year. Water table depleted to 8.88 meters from 7.35 meter (1.53-meter fall) in Huzurabad.
In Keshapatnam, water went down to 7.85 meters from 6.37 metre (1.48-meter fall). It fell to 11.78 depth from 10.34 (1.44 fall) in Kothapalli.
In non-command areas, Gangadhara recorded the highest quantity of 2.87-meter water depletion. Water table dropped to 19.33 meter from 16.46 meter. Chigurumamidi had also recorded 2.71-meter drop. Water depleted to 15.94 meters from 14.23 meter.
Speaking to the Telangana Today, Deputy Director, Ground Water Department, N Harikumar said that a majority of the farmers in command area were cultivating paddy. When there was no water flow in SRSP canal, they were drawing groundwater indiscriminately to protect crops. As a result, the water table has seen a drastic downfall.