In Season Of Drought, How MNCs Are Plundering Ground Water In India

The Logical Indian

April 27th, 2016 / 12:26 AM

Source: indiasamvad | Image Courtesy: wired renai

About 330 million people are affected by drought in India, the government has said. The country is reeling under severe water shortage and desperately poor farmers are suffering crop losses. Scientists and activists have warned that relentless and unchecked groundwater extraction has led to a precipitous drop in water tables across India – the world’s fastest rate of groundwater decline.

In such a grave situation, packaging companies including giants like PepsiCo India are exploiting groundwater to the hilt for profit.

The water package industry has crossed Rs 1,000 crore mark in terms of annual revenues that it generates out of selling groundwater. While they have achieved an annual growth rate of 40–50 per cent, water tables in areas where these companies operate are depleting at a similar rate.

In the past three years, the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has allowed 144 companies, both MNCs and home-grown, to extract groundwater for free and sell to us at a higher premium, but only 24 companies are discharging their basic obligations of recharging the aquifers and recycling the wastewater that is produced in the bottling process, a Cobrapost report revealed.

PepsiCo’s popular brands like Slice, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, 7 Up, Tropicana, Nimbooz and Aquafina draw 6,48,000 cubic meters of groundwater every year. However, the company has not recharged ground water, although it is supposed to recharge a total of 83,778 cubic meters of water every year.

144 companies were issued NOCs for extraction of groundwater by the CGWA under the Ministry of Water Resources, but only 24 of them claim to have taken measures to recharge ground water.
The impact of such unscrupulous exploitation is being felt in areas where these plants operate. In Nithari village in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, where Vishal Beverages runs a bottling plant, the water table has receded to about 180 ft, making a natural resource like water, difficult to access for the locals. Ironically, this area has been categorized by the CGWA as safe for groundwater extraction. Similarly, in Roza Yakubpur, Kasna and Surajpur, where such bottling plants operate, water table has receded to more than 180 ft.

If safe zones can witness this kind of drastic drop in their water tables, then groundwater in semi-critical, critical and overexploited zones may finish altogether in the near future if extraction of groundwater continues this way and adequate measures are not taken.

While on one side, the situation is so dire that the government had to send a “water train” of tankers carrying half a million liters (1,32,000 gallons) to the worst-hit district of Latur, Maharashtra, on the other side these MNCs are doing little to recharge the water tables.

Sumedha Mahajan


Contributors

Written by :

Edited by :

Related Stories

Maharashtra Drought Rainfall

The Water Paradox: How Earlier Drought And Now Rains Are Killing People In Maharashtra

Karnataka Water Crisis

1,900 Villages In Karnataka Facing Drought; Water Scarcity Is Slowly Crippling The State

Water Crisis Tamil Nadu

Drought Hits 24 Out Of 32 Districts In Tamil Nadu; Taps Run Dry & No Water For Cultivation

Water Cup Satyamev Jayate Maharashtra

Satyamev Jayate Water Cup: This Is How The Paani Foundation Has Been Fighting Drought In Maharastra

Siruthuli

After A Severe Drought In 2003, This Organisation Is Rejuvenating Water Resources In Coimbatore Ever Since

NOC Groundwater

Central Ground Water Authority Proposes NOC To Extract Groundwater, Seeks Public Review

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

Sex Ratio At Birth Drops To 896 During 2015-17, Nearly 1.1 Crore Girls Have Gone Missing In India

News

Himachal Pradesh: 13 Army Personnel Killed, 28 Injured After Building Collapsed Due To Heavy Rain

News

Pakistan Opens Its Airspace After 140 Days Of Balakot Strike; Indian Flights Start Using The Closed Air Routes

News

Senior Lawyer And Rajya Sabha Member KTS Tulsi Introduces Bill For Gender Neutral Rape Law

News

Bihar Floods: 44 Lives Lost And 70 Lakh Affected

Fact Check

Fact Check: No, Drinking Cold Drinks Are Not Mixed With Ebola Virus-Infected Blood

x

Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.