Amid daily reports of severe water crisis in the country including those that have even put off medical surgeries in the national capital, a Zee Research Group (ZRG) analysis reveals that at least 14 Indian cities are at "D grade" level on reliability grade scale - a ministry of water resources benchmark to provide 135 litres per person-per day basis.
Among them, seven are million-plus cities and major urban centres of economic growth. Since 2005, the government of India has failed to meet the targets set for irrigation. While the country is reeling under acute water shortage, many districts in states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh have reported high-levels of arsenic in groundwater.
ZRG has decoded the crisis situation and brought out a detailed analysis of India's rising water woes.
Exhibit 1: Per capita water supply in cities below lowest level in reliability grade (10-8-2011)
Seven million plus cities in India are at "D grade" level i.e. lowest level on reliability grade scale (Ministry of water resources -Benchmark -135 litres/capita/day) (As on 10.8.2011)
|City||Per capita water supply reliability grade (Benchmark -135 litres/capita/day)||Population|
Exhibit 2: The targets of irrigation potential fixed and achieved (2005-06 to 2010-11)
Since 2005, Government of India has failed to complete the targets fixed for irrigation due to lack of water. In 2010-2011, the target for irrigation potential was fixed at 1.75 million hectare out of which only 0.22 million hectare was achieved.
|Year||Target||Irrigational potential created|
Exhibit 3: Statement showing per capita water supply in cities received from various state water supply agencies
Data sourced by Census of India 2001 reveals cities like Dhanbad, Madurai, Rajkot, Jamshedpur and Jabalpur had highest percentage of water shortfall.
|Urban Agglomeration/City as per 2001 Census||
Shortfall (in percentage)
Exhibit 4: State wise details of occurrence of fluoride in ground water above permissible limit
High occurrence of Fluoride in ground water
85 % of rural population of the country uses ground water for drinking and domestic purposes. High concentration of fluoride in ground water beyond the permissible limit of 1.5 mg/l poses the health problem. The occurrence of fluoride beyond permissible limit (greater than 1.5 mg /litre) has been observed based on the chemical analysis of water samples collected from the groundwater observation wells by Ministry of Water Resources.
|States||No of districts (in parts) affected with Fluoride in ground water|
Exhibit 5: States with High Arsenic occurrence in ground water permissible limit
High occurrence of Arsenic in ground water
High Arsenic contamination in ground water has been found in the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Arsenic in ground water has been reported in 15 districts in Bihar, nine districts in Uttar Pradesh and eight districts in West Bengal states.
Number of districts affected with Arsenic in ground water