Move comes after building owners’ poor response to govt mandating registration in July this year.
“On an average, we are receiving only around 50 to 100 registration forms at depot offices. So, we have decided to distribute registration forms to all buildings in the city. Once the registration process is complete, we will get to know the number of borewells and open wells in the city,” a Metro Water official said.
The official added that the Metro Water has printed sufficient forms and they would be distributed from next week. Residents should furnish the details of borewells on their premises.
There are more than 12 lakh buildings in the city and almost every building has at least one borewell. “We have two borewells on our premises but they went dry during the summer. So, we dug up a third borewell,” a house owner in Choolaimedu said.
He also added that he neither availed permission from any of the government departments nor applied for a licence before digging borewells.
A few days ago, the water manager had requested the public to register their borewells, open wells and other groundwater sources on their premises and warned the residents of penal actions if they fail to do so. Metro Water had fixed a deadline up to November 10 to register the borewells, which is likely to be extended.
Even though a government order pertaining to the registration of borewells and open wells was issued in July this year, the Metro Water has expedited the registration only after the tragic death of Sujith, who died after falling into an unused borewell near Manapparai in Tiruchy.
As per Chennai Metropolitan Area Ground Water Regulation Act 1987, Metro Water has been made the nodal agency to monitor groundwater extraction in the city and also to issue licences for wells. “Once the residents submit filled registration forms, we will issue licences for the wells,” the official said.
Metro Water would also regulate the use of motors and the amount of water extracted from the ground. The residents could also apply online for registration and obtaining licences. Apart from regulating groundwater extraction for domestic usage, the Metro Water would also issue licences to bubble top water production units in the city. There are as many as 95 production units in the city that produces more than one lakh cans each day with a capacity of 20 litres every day. To produce 20 litres of RO drinking water, treatment units require 35 litres of raw water, which is mostly extracted from the ground.
While mandating the registration of borewells, the Metro Water had also offered to help residents to convert unused and abandoned borewells into either rainwater harvesting recharge wells or fill them up to the ground level using clay, sand, boulder or any other suitable materials. The public can contact the water manager for technical assistance.
Chennai Corporation enumerates borewells
The Greater Chennai Corporation has been enumerating borewells in its buildings to initiate precautionary measures. “Zonal level teams are enumerating the number of borewells in our buildings.
As the court has directed to provide the number of borewells by November 21, the enumeration process will be completed in one week,” a Chennai Corporation official said. The civic body also has been conducting a survey to identify borewells in more than 24,000 vacant plots in the city.
- Type of well and its exact location
- Device used for lifting the groundwater
- Date from which the groundwater is being used
- Purpose(s) for which the groundwater is being used
- Quantity of groundwater utilised
- Methods adopted for groundwater conservation and rainwater harvesting