NGT pulls up authorities over unauthorised borewells in Delhi

Last Updated: Friday, July 18, 2014 - 19:30

New Delhi: Taking a serious note of "water scarcity" in Delhi, the National Green Tribunal today pulled up the authorities for failing to perform their statutory administrative obligation in ensuring adequate water supply.

Irked over unauthorised and illegal borewells operating here, a bench headed by Justice Swatanter
Kumar directed Delhi Jal Board, Central Ground Water Authority, government of NCT of Delhi and corporations concerned to set up committees which shall visit and seal industrial areas extracting water illegally.

"Water scarcity in Delhi is a fact of which tribunal can take judicial notice, and equally it cannot be denied that these authorities i.E. Corporations, DJB and government of NCT of Delhi have statutory and even a public administrative obligation to ensure that adequate water supply is made to various parts of Delhi and there is no illegal extraction of ground water in any manner whatsoever," the bench said.
It also ordered that such committees shall prepare a complete and comprehensive report as to how many bore-wells were operating in industrial pockets, including at Bawana and Narela, and whether they have the permission from competent authority or were registered with the Delhi administration.

"We direct the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and DJB to submit a complete and comprehensive report as to why they have not fixed any meters for calculating cess," the green bench said.

"We make it clear that all the senior officers shall be responsible for ensuring that the order of the Tribunal is implemented without demur and delay," it said and fixed the matter for hearing on August 22.
The tribunal on September 3 last year had set up a panel to collect data of all illegal and permissible borewells in NCT of Delhi as well as to ensure that the cases of illegal extraction of ground water were prosecuted and water meters were installed for measuring consumption of underground water.

Thereafter, on November 12 and December 19 last year respectively, the tribunal had expressed dissatisfaction over the report submitted by the panel and had termed it as "poor and vague".

The tribunal was hearing petitions filed by the NGT Bar Association and Raj Hans Bansal opposing the illegal use of groundwater in Delhi.

PTI

First Published: Friday, July 18, 2014 - 19:30

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