Other States

Should we put a price on ground water, asks SC

The Supreme Court on Friday sought a response from the Centre and Delhi government on a petition for excessive extraction and wastage of groundwater leading to severe shortage.

Now, the Ministry of Water Resources and the AAP government will have to respond to the Supreme Court on whether metering and putting a price on groundwater would help reduce its alarming depletion.

The order by a Bench led by Justice T.S. Thakur came on a special leave petition filed by Ramesh Ailawadi, who challenged the dismissal of his plea by the Delhi High Court on April 9.

“Groundwater depletion is of grave concern, and limiting its use, metering it and charging against such water consumption will not only help the water conservation but will also bring revenue to the government which can further be used for other incidental activities by the government to safeguard the degrading underground water table,” the petition said.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner submitted that the government has completely abdicated its responsibility of regulating the usage of this precious and valuable natural resource (ground water).

"Groundwater forms part of the various natural resources that have been imparted to us by the nature. The government authorities are the guardian to such natural resources and, therefore, bear a heavy responsibility to lead the country in sustainable and equitable use of such resources,” he said.

"The alarming depletion of groundwater is asking for urgent attention, where its highly inequitable use is causing its severe shortage, because of which millions of people have been deprived of its access. The future scenario is even grimmer," the petition said.

Both Centre and the Delhi government has six weeks to file their replies in the Supreme Court.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 7:38:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/should-we-put-a-price-on-ground-water-asks-sc/article7487332.ece

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