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NGT issues notice to Jal Shakti Ministry, CPCB on appeal against Centre's notification on groundwater

ANI | Updated: Oct 13, 2020 19:06 IST

New Delhi [India], October 13 (ANI): The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued notice to the Ministry of Jal Shakti and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on an appeal challenging the recent notification issued by the Central government on groundwater.
A bench of the NGT, headed by its chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, on had October 9 said points raised by environmentalist Devi Das Khatri requires consideration and asked the Ministry and the CPCB to file their responses in the matter and listed it for February 11, 2021.
Khatri, in his appeal, has sought to quash a notification dated September 24, 2020, issued by the Ministry of Jal Shakti, whereby guidelines have been notified to regulate and control the groundwater extraction in the country under Section 3 (3) read with Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
Khatri's advocate Anoop Agarwal pointed out that without any study of carrying capacity, the policy allows concession to Micro and Small Enterprises drawing groundwater less than 10 cusecs/day as well as for bulk water supply.

"There is no uniform policy for monitoring groundwater recharge mechanisms and to check the depleting groundwater levels in the country. Water is a scarce resource on which life is dependent. Extraction thereof has to be duly regulated," the appeal said.
The appeal suggested that in areas where there is water scarcity, extraction can be allowed on stringent conditions of ensuring recharge.
The tribunal also noted its earlier order where it referred to media reports about the decline in the water tables in certain areas affecting the river flow and sustenance of water bodies affecting human life, wildlife and eco-system as a whole and extraction in scarce water areas for commercial purposes was against the principle of 'Sustainable Development'.
According to the applicant, the impugned notification, instead of complying with the directions of the tribunal, is in the reverse direction and destructive of the concept of 'Sustainable Development' which is to be enforced by the Tribunal.
Earlier, the NGT had passed an order for taking steps for sustainable groundwater management, in terms of the order of the Supreme Court, however, the impugned order dated September 24, 2020, failed to ensure sustainable development, in terms of the order of the Supreme Court and this Tribunal, the applicant said. (ANI)