September 13, 2019

Committee formed by NGT to cease illegal groundwater extraction

[ by Legal Era News Network ]


The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has set up a committee to formulate steps required to prevent unauthorized extraction of the depleting groundwater levels. The committee comprises of the joint Secretaries of Ministry of Environment and Forests and Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR), Central Ground Water Board, National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee, National Remote Sensing Centre and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel headed the bench of the NGT that directed the committee to evolve a robust mechanism to ensure that groundwater is not illegally extracted and to monitor manning and functioning of the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA).

The NGT was hearing a plea filed by one Shailesh Singh, through advocates Preeti Singh and Sunklan Porwal, seeking action against depleting groundwater levels in the country and prevention of its illegal extraction.

According to the NGT, “The report of CPCB with regard to compensation is accepted by way of an interim arrangement and the same may be acted upon by the regulatory authorities and compensation recovered from the violators, for the period of violation, which may be assessed on case to case basis.”

Unfortunately, in spite of clear directions of the Supreme Court, the CGWA is not willing to take the ownership of the subject and repeatedly takes the plea that it does not have the infrastructure or that the responsibility of dealing with the problem is of the states and not that of the said authority.

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