With the increased dependency on groundwater, the water level has depleted and water is not available even at depths of 1, ft.
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As a result, water sources have dried up in the taluk. Besides, rampant sand mining has also affected the groundwater level.
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Considering alarming depletion of water level, the government issued the ban order. The government order was hailed by environmentalists and various organisations who protested against the illegal sand mining. But the order seems to have had no impact on those indulging in illegal sand mining.
Besides, no vigil by the authorities concerned has encouraged such law violators. Only a few river beds in the taluk were officially marked for sand mining, from where the sand is transported by the Public Works Department to Bangalore and other areas. Besides pollution, the lack of flow of the river is also a concern for Betwa. Last year, the river had dried up in February in Vidisha district. According to a report by Madhya Pradesh Power Generation Company, the generation of power through hydro energy has fallen down rapidly to 1, MU in from 3, MU in Slamming the various river linking projects, she says that the government is killing water-laden rivers by linking them with water-deficit rivers.
Water conservationist Rajendra Singh is hopeful that the rivers can be revived even now if the government brings a dedicated mission for scientific sand mining. Similarly, we need to work on the catchment area of the river to revive its natural flow. The Ken originates near Ahirgawan on the north-west slopes of Kaimur Range in Jabalpur district and travels a distance of km before merging with the Yamuna at Chilla village, near Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh.
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Like Betwa, Ken is also under similar threats. Ashish Sagar Dixit, an activist who has been working on various issues of Bundelkhand, says, "The river Ken is a lifeline for major cities of Bundelkhand and this project will ruin the environment as well as water of the river. Dixit has been protesting against sand mining on the bank of Ken for several years. He says, "There are 11 nullahs dumping tons of polluted water daily in Ken in Banda city only. Apart from this, illegal mining is also destroying the ecology of the river.
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He alleges that the sand mining mafias are so powerful that the forest department officials and administration have become their tool for excessive excavation of the sand. The author is Bhopal - based freelance writer and a member of Reporters.
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