These days, a 600-m-long crack in Kheri village of Ateli block is the centre of attraction of people from neighbouring districts and geologists alike. For the people, it is a rare sight and, for experts, it is a matter of study.
“More than 100 people from Rewari, Gurugram, Jhajjar and Rohtak districts and Rajasthan’s Jaipur, Alwar, Jhunjhunu and Sikar districts visit Kheri village. The number is higher on Sundays,” says village sarpnach Narender Chauhan.
The crack was formed after a mild earthquake shook the region last week. It was a hairline crack running through a field then. But rain in the following days widened it. Now, its depth varies from one to six ft.
Experts attribute widening of the crack to the depletion in the ground water table. They say Ateli block has recorded a fall of 46 m in the water table in the past two decades, rendering subsurface formation weak and fragile, resulting in the wide crack.
This has come to fore during the preliminary investigation by an Assistant Geologist on the direction of Deputy Commissioner RK Singh.
“The average water level of Ateli block was 25.93 m in June 2000. In the next two decades, the water table declined drastically. It fell to 71.69 m in June 2019 with the average fall of 45.76 m in the past 19 years. One of the major causes is overexploitation of ground water,” states the inquiry report.
It recommends a survey by the Geological Survey of India (GSI).
The sarpanch says a watchman has been deputed at the spot to prevent any untoward incident. The GSI would be informed for further investigation, the DC says.