Khammam: Groundwater may not be available in 149 gram pachayats in four mandals in the district in future because they are in danger of drying up.
It is a matter of serious concern not only to the state government but also the Central government, which is set to ramp up rainwater harvesting and conservation efforts in Khammam district along with 255 water-stressed districts in the country.
Central government officials began the programme on Wednesday in coordination with the state officials.
Though water is a state issue, the campaign would be coordinated by Central IAS officers drawn from ministries as varied as Space, Petroleum and Defence.
The Central government is following the model of Gram Swaraj Abhiyan where Central officials monitor the implementation. Khammam district, which has 4,361 square kilometre area, is divided into 22 groundwater zones.
The worst groundwater situation prevails in four mandals including Tirumalayapalem, Kusumanchi, Raghunathapalem and Khammam rural.
Central official Rajiv Ranjan, Water Resources Department of the Central government, will be looking after the programme.
A total 149 gram panchayats — 31 in Khammam rural, 41 in Kusumanchi, 40 in Tirumalayapalem and 37 in Raghunathapalem face a serious situation.
Piezometers will be set up in these habitations to monitor the depth of water and its movement. As part of the Jalasakthi Abhiyam, the traditional water bodies will be renovated and programmes like reuse of water and recharging of structures, watershed development and intensive afforestation and drinking water sanitation will be taken up. Tirumalayapalem mandal has been drought-stricken for long and the rainfall here is less when compared to the other mandals in the district. The other three mandals will be in the list of it. Drawing of groundwater is excessive in the district and therefore the groundwater table has been decreasing.
The Centre will take up the scheme in other mandals in the next phase....