Green tribunal seeks fresh report on illegal groundwater extraction

Following a plea alleging illegal withdrawal of groundwater in Rohini, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has sought a fresh report from the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB).

Stating that a report furnished by the North body is “evasive and inadequate”, a Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said: “It [the report] does not furnish the actual information as sought. The status report shows that the order of this tribunal has not been taken seriously.”

“Sensitivity to check illegality is missing. Either competence is lacking or there is extraneous consideration on the part of persons giving the report, which needs to be looked into for upholding the rule of law,” the Bench noted.

The directions came on a plea alleging that groundwater was being illegally extracted through a borewell in Rohini for the purpose of selling packaged drinking water.

Following submission by the civic body’s counsel that the DJB is responsible for sealing of the borewell, the Bench noted: “Illegality cannot be allowed to continue unchecked merely by saying that it is up to one or the other authority to take action.”

Warning of action against officials involved, the tribunal said: “Water is a scarce resource and a large number of people are deprived of access to drinking water. Illegal extraction of water must be taken seriously and if there is collusion of officers or inaction, they should also be required to pay the compensation for illegal benefit.”

Directing authorities to submit a fresh report, the Bench said: “The report must include the steps taken for stopping the illegality as well as for recovering compensation for the illegal extraction of water by the concerned person till the closing of the illegal borewell.”

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 10:53:26 AM |

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