The exploited water should be refilled benefitting the groundwater table, they argue welcoming the recent announcement by the state government.
“The government has the responsibility of converting the abandoned borewells into rainwater recharge structures. At a time when the State is facing serious water shortage, this recharge will play a major role in conserving water,” said S Janakarajan, former professor at Madras Institute of Developmental Studies.
This is an opportunity for the stakeholders to increase the water table and fight seawater intrusion in coastal areas. There should not be any knee-jerk reaction of closing the disused borewell structures, but they should be put to ecological use. Further, there is no hazardous threat from the borewell gas or sedimentary rocks when the water is filled back into the borewell, Janakarajan, an expert in hydrology said.
“Refilling of water is crucial in metamorphic and sedimentary rocky areas to balance the earth’s equilibrium. Further, the conversion of borewells into rainwater harvest structures is not a multi-crore project,” said S Thirugnanam, adviser, Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Trichy.
Thirugnanam also demands digitisation of all borewell data in the state for further hydrology studies and geology operations. The abandoned open borewells will have developed bell mouth due to rainwater seepage and this must be concretised before converting them into rainwater harvesting structures with preventive slabs.
As a knee jerk reaction, the authorities have closed a few disused borewells with lids in Vellore and Trichy districts. The best option is to convert them into rainwater structures, and it will be better to complete these works when the monsoon is active over Tamil Nadu, Thirugnanam said.
Post the demise of two-year-old Sujith trapped in a borewell, the state government had asked the district collectors to prepare a detailed report on the status of borewells covered in their