Speaking to DTNext, Subburaj said the project would cover the entire country and ensure both stakeholders and state/district administrators know how much water was available for future use.
He added that the aquifer map would be uploaded on the board’s website once the work was completed.
The project became operational in 2012 and has covered 23 lakh km across the country, so far. Subburaj elaborated that the work often attracted negative publicity as people mistook it as a survey for hydrocarbon extraction. He clarified that water was extracted only from a depth of 200 metres.
Vellore district officials were unaware of the project unlike Tiruvannamalai officials. Tiruvannamalai Collector KS Kandasamy said, “Work is already over in 11 locations. The 23 locations planned in the district has been increased to 39.” Villagers were not convinced despite an official clarification that it was not related to the hydrocarbon project, the Collector added. However, fears of locals were allayed only after water samples were tested on the spot during the mapping process. In the survey for methane availability, samples would be sent to laboratories for results, Kandasamy explained.
“We also highlighted the fact that both methane and hydrocarbon are found at depths of 3000 feet on soft rock strata whereas Tiruvannamalai district is a rocky region, he said and added that locals were also told that bores sunk for this purpose would be panchayat property after the mapping work.