Punjab is faced with a sharp decline in the groundwater. What in your opinion can prevent the state from further depletion of the precious resource which has already become a source of concern for the country?

Punjab is faced with a depletion in groundwater. Recent reports have suggested that if the current rate of exploitation is not checked the state will be pushed to be a desert in the future as the water table will fall critically. Despite the growing realities, the farmers have shown reluctance in shifting away from paddy cultivation which is a very water intensive crop. This is primarily due to the fact that most of the small and medium farmers are under debt and they cannot look over their current liabilities of loans and other farm expenditure. Paddy bags a good MSP and promised procurement by the government which makes it an attractive investment.
It is the onus of the government to project the growth of other crops to the farmers which will help to check the situation. There is an urgent need of implementing the measures which will completely reverse the negative recharge rate of the water reservoirs, aquifers and other water bodies. The big farmers of Punjab are the ones who spend water generously in their fields. The government should put an end to use of tubewells and other pumps along with the electricity subsidies. More water-sustainable measures should be adopted in the fields.

Published: June 29, 2019 | Modified:December 1, 2019

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