Depleting groundwater level in several parts of Puri town including Srimandir raises concern

Puri: Groundwater level has been continuously going down in several parts of the pilgrim city. It has depleted to an extent of more than 1 metre in Siddha Mahaveer and Totasahi localities in a year and conditions of the remaining areas are hardly anything better, a source said today.

A previous survey report of the Central Ministry of Water Resources conducted in 2021-22 has become a big challenge for the district as well as civic administrations. Groundwater levels in all other areas except Balagandi, Police Line, Goudabadi Sahi, Sriram Talkies locality, Jagannathballav Mutt and Beherasahi are alarming. This has raised the eyebrows of many local residents and intelligentsia.

According to the official source, the groundwater level at Jagannath Temple in Puri town was prevailing below 6.26 metre in 2019, which depleted to around 6.72 metre as of November 2021.

Moreover, in 2019, the groundwater level in Siddha Mahaveer was below 1.40 metre and depleted to 2.39 metre as of 2021. Similarly, the groundwater level during the same period in Totasahi was 2.90 metre and 3.60 metre; in ITI Square 3.75 metre and 4.22 metre; in Narendrakona 1.15 metre and 2.29 metre; in Kumbharapada 3.10 metre and 3.54 metre and in Govardhan Mutt locality 3.92 metre and 4.39 metre, respectively. The level has depleted by 0.41 metre in Sarvodaya Nagar.

Likewise, the groundwater level went down by 0.50 metre in Balighat; by 0.05 metre in Grand Road; by 0.50 metre in Chhapan Chhak localities in the town, the source added.

On the contrary to which, no adequate steps are being taken to recharge the declining groundwater levels. There are over 700 hotels, which are consuming the groundwater sans permission.

Three hotels alone have obtained due permission from the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB).

Notably, Ganga and Jamuna wells inside Jagannath Temple premises have been drying up, thereby posing serious problems in the preparation of Mahaprasad as these are the lone source of water.

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