RESIDENTS OF over half a dozen villages on Sunday staged a dharna in Satoli village of Nainital district on Sunday to protest against a borewell that has been dug allegedly for commercial misuse under the garb of residential use.
Villagers of Satoli, Peora, Diyari, Chatola, Satkhol, Sitla and neighbouring areas apart from environmentalists and eminent citizens took part in the dharna. They alleged that established laws, norms and guidelines have been flouted in digging the borewell.
One of the protesters, local resident Seema Kundra, said permission for a borewell in Satoli was granted around 10 years ago for personal use for a person who did not live in Satoli but in Bhowali town, about 45 km away. Earlier this year, a private builder operationalised the borewell to extract water for luxury villas coming up at the village.
The villagers alleged that gallons of water were being extracted daily by the builder and several households were being impacted by this. They said since hilly areas do not have a underground water-table, borewells ultimately lead to drying up of their water source.
Nainital District Magistrate Dhiraj Singh Garbiyal could not be reached for comment.
The villagers demanded immediate action to stop the commercial misuse of the water by the builder, orders for sealing of the borewell, stopping operation of other borewells in Kumaon.
Dr Col C S Pant, chairman AAROHI, an NGO headquartered in Satoli, who was present at the dharna said, “This [borewell] poses a huge threat to water supply in Satoli and surrounding villages…. It is totally against the interest of our people and must be stopped.”