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HC summons Haryana officials over illegal water extraction

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Haryana Chief Secretary and Chief Administrator, HUDA, to appear before it in connection with a petition alleging illegal extraction of ground water by builders in Gurgaon.



Gurgaon: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Haryana Chief Secretary and Chief Administrator, HUDA, to appear before it in connection with a petition alleging illegal extraction of ground water by builders in Gurgaon.

Justice Satish Kumar Mittal asked the officials to appear before the court on its next hearing in the case on January 9, in response to a PIL filed by activist, Mukesh Sharma, a resident of Gurgaon.

The PIL was filed against illegal issuance of Occupancy Certificates (OC) to a few builders in Sector 68 to 80 without there being any authorised water supply in the these sectors.

The petition contended that District Town and Country Planner (DTCP), by issuing OCs in Sectors 68-80, Gurgaon, was encouraging the massive illegal extraction and sale/purchase of ground water by builders.

Justice Mittal, in his order issued on January 5, said, "The issue raised in the petition is with regard to non-providing of potable water to the commercial as well as residential premises in Sectors 68 to 80 in Gurgaon, as even water line has not been laid down till date."

"More than 100 licenses for commercial as well as residential buildings have been granted by the state government on payment of huge amount, including the External Development Charges (EDC)."

"Several projects have been completed, out of which some have also been granted the occupation certifications. The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) took the responsibility to provide the potable water by charging a huge amount, but till date, no provision has been made for supplying potable water in these sectors," said the order.

Sharma also named builders including Frontier Homes, DLF Universal, Gupta Promoters and CHD Developers, who were operating without any authorised water connection.

The petition also contended that these Occupancy Certificates have been issued in breach of conditions imposed in environmental clearances granted to these projects.
Post issuance of notice in the writ petition last month, DTCP swung into action and decided to keep the Occupancy Certificates granted to the builders in abeyance.

A show cause notice has also been issued to the builders to explain as to why the Occupancy Certificates granted to them should not be cancelled in the wake of violation of ground water laws, Sharma said.

During the hearing, Indira Jaising, counsel appearing for petitioner, contended that in view of the critical condition of ground water situation in Gurgaon and the fact that the DTCP has issued Occupancy Certificate certificates illegally to the builders without even checking whether they have authorised water supply, urgent interim orders should be passed to remedy the situation.

"Stern action needs to be taken against the errant builders and the responsible bureaucrats and even against politicians, and a complete cleansing of system is necessary," Sharma demanded. =

 

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