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Indore Declared Water-Stressed Dist; Ban On Mining Of Borings Till June End

Enforcement fell upon the shoulders of Revenue, Police and Municipal Corporation officials.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Monday, March 18, 2024, 12:06 AM IST

Indore (Madhya Pradesh): With invoking provisions contained in the Madhya Pradesh Drinking Water Preservation Act, 1986 and Amendment Act 2002, collector Asheesh Singh has declared the entire urban and rural areas of Indore district as water stressed areas. Keeping in view the continuous depletion of ground water in the district, a ban under Section 6(1) of the Act has been imposed on mining of non-government and private tube wells in the entire district from March 18 to June30.

With ground water levels plummeting, action was imperative. Section 6(1) of the Act was invoked, imposing a sweeping ban on mining of non-government and private tube wells across the district. Effective from March 18 to June 30, the mandate aimed to stem unchecked extraction of precious water resources. Enforcement fell upon the shoulders of Revenue, Police and Municipal Corporation officials. Armed with the authority granted by the Act, they have to patrol vigilantly and be ready to intercept any illegal attempts to drill for water.

Boring machines found trespassing into restricted zones would face swift confiscation, accompanied by filing of FIRs without hesitation. Yet, amidst stringent regulations, provisions existed for cases deemed unavoidable. Additional collectors have been vested with power to grant permission after thorough investigation, offering a glimmer of hope for those with legitimate needs.

However, the consequences for flouting the law will be severe - fines of Rs 2k or imprisonment up to two years await those who dared to defy the ban. Exceptions have been made for government-sanctioned projects and initiatives, acknowledging the necessity of certain tube well excavations for public welfare. The Public Health Engineering Department (PHED) has been granted authority to proceed with their work, provided they adhered to the code of conduct for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections-2024.

Furthermore, the Act empowered authorities to acquire private water sources under Section 4 for broader goal of establishing a reliable public drinking water system. This directive, while stringent, underscored the collective responsibility to safeguard the region's most vital resource. Amidst challenges and restrictions, a sense of urgency pervaded the district. As sweltering summer months approach, the true test is awaited.

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