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NGT raps Delhi govt over borewells in Narela, Bawana

New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal today rapped the AAP government and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) over illegal borewells in Narela and Bawana industrial areas in the city which has led to serious depletion of water levels.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar took exception to the "abuse" of its interim order to allow borewells in these industrial areas by the Delhi government.
The tribunal was hearing petitions filed by the NGT Bar Association and Raj Hans Bansal opposing the illegal use of groundwater in Delhi.
The green panel had in 2014 set up committees comprising officials of the DJB, Central Ground Water Authority, city government and other bodies to seal the illegal borewells in these industrial areas and file a comprehensive report.
It had also ordered the committees to prepare a comprehensive report on how many borewells were operating in the industrial pockets, including Bawana and Narela, and whether they have the permission from competent authority or were registered with the Delhi administration.
The NGT today said that even after the 2014 direction, the Delhi government has failed to submit any action plan and said its order to allow water extraction was interim in nature.
"Three years have gone by and till date, you have not proposed a plan as to how you will provide these industries water for their consumption. You can't abuse our interim orders.
"Why did you permit these industries to extract water if you cannot provide them water. How can you set up industries if you don't even have basic facility like water," the bench observed.
The NGT was apprised that the industrial cluster was being set up by city government's infrastructure development agency Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (DSIIDC).
The bench then directed the concerned DSIIDC officer to appear and inform it about the status of these industries with regard to water extraction and other facilities.
In 2014, the NGT had directed DJB to collect Rs 50,000 as fee from all water packaging industries in Bawana and Narela for extracting groundwater and said they will have to pay for usage from December 2012.
It had also directed the industries to apply for installing borewells and asked other industrial units in the area to pay Rs 20,000 per year per borewell.
Taking serious note of the "water scarcity" in Delhi, the tribunal had earlier pulled up the authorities for failing to perform their statutory administrative obligation in ensuring adequate water supply.
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