The state government would soon crack down on extraction of groundwater in areas where the water has been found to be contaminated.
Earlier this year, a report placed in the Lok Sabha revealed that groundwater in several parts of Delhi is contaminated with arsenic and fluoride. Heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and chromium have also been found in some areas.
“To prevent people from drinking contaminated water, we will soon seal the handpumps and tube wells in areas where we find groundwater contamination,” said a senior official of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC).
The DPCC has also urged the Central Ground Water Board and the Delhi Jal Board to carry out a comprehensive survey to identify areas where groundwater is contaminated with elements and metals above the permissible limit prescribed by the Bureau of Indian Standards.
“The report is expected to be submitted by this month. Once the report comes in we would direct the civic bodies and the DJB to seal the handpumps and tube wells,” said a senior DPCC official.
CGWB sources said that most of the pollutants such as Nitrates and heavy metals come from industrial effluents that seep into the groundwater.
Earlier this month, the National Green Tribunal had set up a committee headed by the state environment secretary while hearing a case on groundwater contamination published in the Hindustan Times in June 2015.
The committee is also preparing a plan on how groundwater can be extracted from some parts of the city where groundwater level is very high. The end users have to be also identified.
The NGT had earlier suggested that if the groundwater is polluted, it could be sent to water purifier plants of the DJB and then supplied to water scarce areas. If the water remains contaminated even after purification then it could be sold to users such as the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation.
“The basements of many buildings are being affected where the groundwater level is too high. In some areas such as Sukhdev Vihar, New Friends Colony, Okhla and Siddhartha Extension the water table has been found to be very high,” said an official of the DJB.