Make policy to curb illegal groundwater extraction: NGT

Asks authorities to take action against those involved

Following a plea seeking remedial action against illegal extraction of groundwater by private water tankers, the National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to formulate a policy against illegal withdrawal of groundwater.

Taking note of a report furnished by the DJB, a Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed authorities to take action against those involved.

“We find that illegal installation of tube well being an offence under the Environment [Protection] Act, 1986, the DJB in coordination with the DPCC must initiate prosecution, apart from recovering compensation for the damages caused,” the Bench said.

The Bench also said that authorities should “dismantle and seize equipment so as to prevent any reopening of the seal”, to curb illegal extraction of the groundwater by the private water tankers.

Private tankers

The directions came when the green panel was hearing a plea which alleged that private water tankers were illegally withdrawing groundwater by installing unauthorised tube wells, in order to sell the water.

The NGT had earlier directed the DJB to provide a report on the allegations made in the plea.

In the report submitted, the DJB said, “…a private tube well has been illegally installed at Barat Ghar Chandan Hulla from where illegal extraction of groundwater for private sale is being done. Earlier, the SDM, Mehrauli had sealed the tube well…again such sealing has been done.” The authorities were directed to provide another action-taken report by June 30.

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