The state government is creating a ‘water budget’ to provide a block-wise estimate of the requirement of water for agriculture and industry.
Experts of IIT Kharagpur will help the government in setting up the water budget through satellite imaging that will ascertain the amount of groundwater and underground water at any place.
“A comprehensive study will be undertaken to ascertain the availability of water level at block level. Our experts, as well as those of IIT Kharagpur, will start the work very soon. We plan to submit the report to chief minister Mamata Banerjee,” said state water resource irrigation minister Saumen Mahapatra.
Presently, there is no database that provides information about water resources. The proposed water budget will give a detailed information on the amount of water resources that are available at a particular place.
Accordingly, 7,966 crore square metres of water is available annually in the state but the demand has already crossed 9,100 crore square metres. Moreover, in 33 blocks, the level of underground water has fallen to dangerous levels.
A senior official said that the water budget will not only help in utilising water injudicious manner but will also help to increase the pace of industrial growth.
“Encouragement will be given to set up industries that require less water in areas where the availability of water is less. We will optimise the requirement of water through the introduction of technology and rationalisation. Again, the water budget will help in undertaking a proper plan for cultivation,” he said.
The Centre had released a report wherein it had portrayed a poor picture of Bengal. The groundwater study will help the state government to challenge Centre’s report, Mr Mahapatra added.
After coming to power in 2011, Miss Banerjee had brought water resources as a major area of focus in Bengal.