Chandigarh, July 10 (IANS) The decision of Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar to promote crop diversification got a major boost when the Punjab & Haryana High Court on Friday not only set aside the request for staying the operations regarding crop diversification but also lauded the steps taken by the state.
In its judgment which was taken up for hearing through video conferencing, the high court also asked the state to ensure that all the water bodies in the state are revived, preserved, conserved and protected, besides boosting the re-charge mechanism.
The court held that according to available data, millions of cubic meters of groundwater is extracted annually for irrigation in India.
There is over exploitation of groundwater, leading to grave threat to aquifers of Indo-Gangetic plains due to excessive and intensive pumping of water.
There would be rapid diversification of fertile land leading to dust storms blowing away the top soil.
Moreover, the excessive exploitation of groundwater is a threat to the environment and ecology. “We are extracting more water than is replenished,” the court observed.
The court appreciated the government saying that the steps taken by it were laudable for diversification of the crops.
The aquifers are “overstressed and extremely stressed” and in case the remedial measures are not taken, it would lead to classification of certain over exploited blocks or zones as “dark zones”, the high court observed.