Department of History, Delhi University
New Delhi, India
Gmail – email@example.com
Water is one of the most important natural resources and it is essential for all the creatures in the world. Without it no one can survive. But the condition of the groundwater is deteriorating day by day. Problem of groundwater can be seen worldwide. That’s why it is included in the sustainable development goal number- 6. Under it, it is targeted to achieve safe and clean drinking water to all till the end of 2030. It is not only a problem related to the towns; it can also be found in villages of state. This research is intended to explore the problems of drinking water in Munger district. The main reason to choose Munger district for the research is that as it is considered a developed district of Bihar and it is also near the bank of the River GANGA, but still problems are the same, the levels of drinkable groundwater are very low in the district and its ground level differs from place to place. While collecting data for the research total nine blocks were covered and it is of both type qualitative and quantitative types. While collecting data for the research work, it is observed that many of the villagers buy their drinkable water from private suppliers whilst the government is providing them free tap drinking water.
Keywords: sustainable, development, number, water
Water is one of the most important natural resources and it is essential for all the creatures in the world. Without it no one can survive. But the condition of groundwater is deteriorating day by day. This research work is intended to explore the problems of groundwater in Munger district. While collecting data for the research work, it is observed that many of the villagers buy drinkable water from the private suppliers while the government is providing them free tap drinking water. This research paper helps to explain the major reasons behind the over exploitation of the groundwater and what are the effective ways through which it can be controlled.
Munger is one of the most important historical towns of India as well as that of Bihar and once upon a time it was a part of Anga ( Mahajanapada) and it was ruled by Karna in the Ancient times. After that it was ruled by the Palas Dynasty for some time. In modern Indian history Mir Kasim shifted his capital from Murshidabad to Munger before the East India Company captured the eastern part of India. Munger is located in the southern part of Bihar and it is near the bank of river Ganga. It lies between 24° 59’ North to 25° 30’ latitude and 85° 16’ East to 86° 42’ East longitudes. It is bounded by Khagaria in the north, Lakhisarai to Begusarai in the west, Bhagalpur in the East, Banka and Jamui district in the south. Mica and meta- sedimentary rocks of Pre- Cambrian age are also found and it will further help in the analysis of water in the Munger.
It is necessary to focus on some of the key factors on which the layer and the quality of water depends and on that basis the work of the research should be carried forward. Some of the factors are as follows: Types of Drainage pattern in Munger, Rainfall and Climate pattern in Munger, Irrigation practices, Geomorphology, Soil, Chemical quality in the groundwater, Effects of population on the groundwater. Increased and Unsustainable extraction of water has resulted in the significant depletion of water and it is increasing day by day. Its adverse effects can be seen in the environment. Large number of people suffer from health problems. If the depletion of the groundwater is analyzed properly then it can be seen that small and marginal farmers, women, school going children and weaker sections of the society directly face the problems of drinking water. Recently, it is observed that the Govt. of India has merged the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation under the Ministry of Jal Shakti and in the coming years it will be beneficial for the country. It would also be beneficial in achieving the Sustainable Development Goal – 6. Here, it is necessary to highlight the role of community and the self – help group. The role of Community and the Self help group in the conservation and preservation of water in the district and at the village level are very important and with this the target of the Sustainable Development Goal can be achieved in a short period.
In the Union Budget 2021- 22, it is clearly mentioned that the Govt. of India will provide 287000 crore through its Jal Jeevan Mission ( Urban ) and it would provide tap drinking water supply to all the 4378 Urban Local Bodies and 500 AMRUT ( Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation ) cities. It will be implemented over the next 5 years. Similarly, Urban Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0 will be launched for the period of 2021- 2026 and it too would solve the problems because cleanliness is also important. In states like Bihar, it is noticed that most of the women are still lagging behind because they spend their time in borrowing drinking water. But after the implication of the tap drinking water to every house it can be reduced upto some extent. That’s why most of the girls are able to go to the schools and here it is necessary to appreciate the work of the government.
Some of the areas which played an important role for maintaining the status of the groundwater are as follows:
- Afforestation programme – Its main aim is to plant more trees. Trees play an important role for groundwater recharge and holding soil to its natural position. Here, the role of ITC Munger is important and it plants trees to maintain the greenness of the district.
- Watershed development – It is the study of different characteristics of the water resources and its proper use. Here, it can be said that the proper distribution of the water is important because water is not equally available in the geographical areas of the district. Where it is available in huge quantities, it should be transferred to the place where it is available in small quantities.
- Sustainable agriculture – Its simple meaning is the production of crops without damaging the humans and animal ecosystem. It is about the less use of chemicals and more use of biological manure. Under sustainable agriculture the inclusion of Permaculture (permanent agriculture), mixed farming, multiple farming, crop rotation etc can be done. The Govt. of India is providing MSP (Minimum support price) to the farmers for the production of certain crops that’s why the farmers produce only those crops that are beneficial to them. It is also the main reason for the pollution of groundwater and its surrounding areas. Here, the role of the Government and that of the ITC is very crucial to educate the farmers regarding the sustainable use of water.
- Livestock development – It is the development of animal products in agricultural lands. Here, it can be said that the farmers could maximize the outputs and minimize the losses. They should reduce the dependence on the chemicals and in this way Munger can become similar to that of Sikkim. Sikkim has become the first organic state in India.
- Solid Waste Management – In the modern world waste is generated day by day and it becomes very difficult for the Govt. to control it. In the district most of the people generally throw their garbage near the source of water and it can be seen more near the Ganga. Due to this many of them suffered from the contamination of water. So here, the role of Municipalities and the NGO become important as far as the question of solid waste management is considered.
Now apart from all these, it is necessary to mention some of the Govt. Scheme as well as some of the private sector schemes related to water which will be helpful in solving the problems of water crisis. Some of the problems are as follows:
- Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal – Bihar Vikas Mission.
- Mukhyamantri Gramin Peyjal Nishchay Yojana.
- Bihar State Water And Sanitation Mission.
- Bihar Govt. To Provide Irrigation Water To All Farms.
- Jal Jeevan Hariyali Mission ( JJHM ).
All the above mentioned programmes or schemes are very important for the conservation or the sustainability of water. It is necessary to draw a note of how it would be helpful for the people of Munger. It is important to know how they are managing the problems of water and for how many years they are facing the problems related to water. Around forty people were asked regarding the questions related to water but they have given different answers to the similar questions.
Govt. of India is planning to provide free tap drinking water to the rural areas by the end of 2024 and in most of the villages it is completed before the time and it is considered as the welfare programme for the people of the Munger but at the same time it is necessary to think about the sustainability of water. For the sustainability of water, awareness programmes should be run for the people because in this field behavior change is important as far as the role of the individual is considered. For the supply of water through tap, electricity is required and it puts more financial burden on the government. And in the present scenario the consumption of electricity is more. That’s why it is necessary to put more focus on solar energy because it is the pure form of energy without any pollution. This would definitely save the water from being polluted. One of the main reasons for the over exploitation of water is that it is supplied from a long distance without any proper check up of the leakage of water. That’s why it is necessary to think about the supply of water from the local areas and its proper check up. Time for the supply of water should also be fixed, if it is supplied without any specific time then it would definitely lead to the pollution and over exploitation of water. While carrying out surveys in the district, it has been found that there was continuous supply of water till electricity supply was there, which leads to the over exploitation of water. Here , a suggestion to the government is that it should not be linked to electricity because it would lead to the problem during the rainy seasons. It should be given three times a day. And more focus should be given to the proper check up and cleaning below the taps areas, maintenance of the taps and sanitation and hygiene of the storage areas.
To maintain the groundwater table in the rural areas, the role of MGNREGA is important because it helps in the conservation and preservation of water. With the help of MGNREGA water claims can be created at the rural areas and it helps in the recharge of water bodies in the villages. Besides that the role of Gram Sabha, NGOs, Local Areas Authority, and Individuals is also important. Many of the ponds and rivers are full of Blue Green Algae which indicates the process of Eutrophication, it also pollutes the aquatic ecosystem. The main reason for it is the tremendous use of chemicals in the fields. That’s why the Govt. should use the distribution of chemicals in a wise manner. Planting of trees would be helpful for the restoration of the groundwater table. Only 32.7 percent of total areas of Munger is under Forest but according to the National Forest Policy , it should be kept at least 33 percent and in it the role of local people is very important. Total 100 villages are selected for plantation of trees in Bihar out of which 22 fall in the Munger district. The plantation drive is part of the Namami Ganga Programme – National Mission For Clean Ganga and it would definitely bring positive change in recharging groundwater tables and preventing the nearby villages from floods.
Places like Sita Kund, Kastaharni Ghat, Goenka Sivalaya, Rameshwar Kund and Rishi Kund can be seen as more polluted and the main reasons for the pollution of these places is the lack of awareness among the people. The level of Biological Oxygen Demands and Chemical Oxygen Demands in the above mentioned places is not maintained. Along with that many Non – Biodegradable Materials can be seen in these places and it is the main reason for the pollution of water. Farmers of the district focus more on the Wheat, Gram, Green Pea, Ajwayan, Mangraila, Onion, Paddy, Pulses, Coriander etc and most of the crops require more water and they don’t use organic methods of farming. Due to this groundwater table is getting reduced and polluted due to the presence of chemicals. Co – efficiency of variation is maximum in July while it is minimum in the Month in the month of August, the reason for its maximum and minimum is directly based on the influence of South – West monsoon. In June Munger has a decreasing trend of rainfall while from July onwards it starts increasing. From August onwards it starts decreasing and it continues till september. Rainfall data from 1989 to 2018 has been taken for analysis of the trends and it is found that the quantity of rainfall is decreasing year by year.
Dominant minerals that are present in the water are Calcium, Magnesium and Bicarbonate. The presence of Ca-Mg- HCO3 is due to the dissolution of Carbonate minerals. The presence of Sodium and Potassium in the water is due to over use of chemicals. Most of the farmers in Munger are dependent upon agriculture and in order to gain maximum from agriculture they used various types of chemicals. The reasons of Sodium Chloride in the water are as follows:
Return of irrigated water which contains chemicals, used domestic wastewater like detergent water and overflow or leakage of septic tanks.
So, by seeing all these it can be said that water is one of the most important natural resources and it is necessary for the terrestial as well as for the aquatic ecosystem. The problem of water is increasing day by day and it might be the main reason for the third world war. Some of the suggestions regarding the conservation of groundwater are as follows: Family planning, Implication of the Govt. scheme in a more efficient way, Focus should be more on less water intensive crops, organic farming, Forest Cover, Proper spending on the Corporate social responsibility finds and maintenance of the wells and tubewells. The role of the ITC, Ordnance factory and other MSMEs factories is also important while addressing the problems of groundwater. They should spend their CSR funds in a productive way while addressing the problem of groundwater.
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