The groundwater level in the district fell by 1.54 metre in a month in March from the February level of 14.59 mts.
With Prakasam District witnessing worst-ever drought in 45 years in 54 of the 56 mandals, the average groundwater level fell by 100 per cent. The level plummeted to 16.13 metres in March compared to 8.03 metre during the corresponding period 2014.
A ban has been clamped on sinking of borewells in 104 over-exploited villages in the worst-affected 12 mandals in western parts of Prakasam district as against 98 villages in 2013 to cope with ”alarming situation”, disclosed department Deputy Director M. Nagamalleswara Rao in a conversation with The Hindu.
The groundwater level in the district fell by 1.54 metre in a month in March from the February level of 14.59 m, underscoring the need for implemeentation of water conservation and augmentation strategies on a mission-mode.
”The situation is likely to worsen as the summer advances”, he added ahead of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s visit to launch the ”Neeru Chettu” campaign on Saturday.
In Dadawada water level at 59.13 mt
According to a survey conducted by the Department, groundwater level in March had touched a low of 59.13 metre in Dadawada village in Kumarole mandal which has been adopted by Ongole MP Y.V. Subba Reddy under the Prime Minister’s ”Adarsh Gram” (Model village) Yojana.
Other villages with significant fall in groundwater level included Venkatadripalem (49.4 m) in Yerragondapalem mandal, Tadivaripalle (46.12 m) in Tarlapadu mandal, Giddalur town (45.25 m), Nikarampalle (42.64) mandal in Markapur mandal, Racherla mandal headquarter village (40.27 m), Endrapalli village (40.47 m) in Pullalacheruvu mandal.
The ban on sinking of borewells has been imposed in 13 villages in Yerragondapalem mandal followed by 12 villages each in Giddalur and Peddaraveedu mandals, 11 villages each in Ardhaveedu and Markapur mandals and 10 villages each in Bestavaripeta and Kumarole mandals.
The department in collaborationg with other departments had chalked out an ambitious plan to promote rain water harvesting structures like check dams, percolation tanks and roof-top rain water harvesting structures both in over-exploited and semi-critical areas, besides promoting massive tree plantation and deepening and desilting of village tanks, Mr.Rao added.