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'Stop excessive water extraction from Ganga floodplains'

Stop excessive water extraction from Ganga floodplains
Excessive extraction of water between Haridwar and Unnao in Ganga floodplains is a serious issue and should be immediately stopped, the National Green Tribunal said on Thursday.

-A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said the water which is being diverted into the various canals should be regulated so as to help maintain a minimum flow of the river.
Extraction of groundwater directly affects the flow of the river. The problem with Ganga is two-folds, as a huge quantity of water is extracted and additionally, effluents are discharged into the river. Excessive extraction of water is a serious problem," the bench, which also included Justice R S Rathore, said.

The tribunal was informed by the Ministry of Water and Resources that minimum environmental flow in Ganga should be 20 per cent in the lean season from November to March, 25 per cent during October and April and 30 per cent from May to September.

When the bench asked the Ministry about a possible solution to the issue of water withdrawal, the counsel said the official concerned was not present. The NGT took exception to this and directed the counsel to call him and appear before it within 15 minutes.

"Answer our query or face the consequence. We don't want any study or report. We want clear cut solution and answer," the bench said while adjourning the matter for hearing on Friday. The tribunal had earlier asked the Centre to clarify what should be the minimum environmental flow (E-flow) in the Ganga, in a bid to ensure uninterrupted water supply in the river.
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