NEW DELHI: The Mines Ministry wants geo-scientists to take up the cause of groundwater in India. Dinsha J Patel, the minister of state in the ministry of mines warned that demand for agricultural and drinking water is ever increasing. "I, visualize an acute problem of water shortage in the coming years especially in the drought prone areas. I would request the geoscientific community to help in locating new groundwater sources to mitigate the drinking water problem," he said.
The Minister was addressing a gathering of scientists at the National Geoscience Awards (2011) held on Tuesday in the capital. Patel wanted in-depth studies on contamination of groundwater from toxins, like arsenic in West Bengal, fluoride in Gujarat, Assam and iodine deficiency in the foothill regions of the Himalayas. He also wanted prospective potential areas for hydropower projects identified and developed in the interest of energy security.
He also emphasized the need explore minerals such as nickel, platinum-group elements, rock phosphate andgold that India imports. Speaking at the same event, Mines secretary, R H Khwaja said that the Government was pushing the geoscience sector to also accelerate assessment of deep seated minerals (such as like nickel) and other scarce natural resources (beyond iron ore and coal).