Environmental News from India:
- More than half of the ponds in Haryana, which were once considered crucial for the state’s agriculture-based economy, are officially deemed polluted.
- The main challenge is to tackle encroachment on the village ponds and stop the dumping of solid and liquid waste.
- The government has finalized an action plan to rejuvenate 4,600 ponds and work has already started on 300 ponds.
- Action on cleaning up the ponds is urgent and needs to be ongoing as Haryana faces declining groundwater levels.
The history of Haryana’s 7,356 villages is as old as its ponds and wells. It is said that people settled wherever they found water storage capacity for human and cattle consumption. A water pond/well would be revered like a village deity and the local people, specially women would pay their reverence by performing rituals on key occasions. Now, the same ponds are polluted, overflowing, filled with dirt, under encroachment, and have become the dumping grounds for garbage. Some of them have even disappeared completely.
According to data from Haryana Pond and Waste Water Management Authority (HPWWMA), there are a total of 18,835 ponds across rural and urban areas in the state, and at present, about 63 percent (12,036) of those are polluted. There are 10,118 ponds that are polluted but not overflowing while 1,918 are both polluted and overflowing. The HPWWMA was established in 2018 to monitor and promote the development, protection, rejuvenation, conservation, management of ponds, and utilization of pond water after treatment.
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