Crack down on city hotels extracting groundwater illegally, ET RealEstate

January 1, 2024
1 min read
crack down on hotels in delhi extracting groundwater illegally ngt


NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the chief executive officer of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and the member secretary of the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) to take action against hotels illegally extracting groundwater in the city. It has also asked them to consider the issue of management and control of groundwater in Delhi.

The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) had earlier informed the tribunal that out of the 536 hotels, 257 were illegally extracting groundwater and 185 were doing so under a voluntary disclosure scheme.

“During the course of argument, an issue also came up as to who is the competent authority to regulate and manage extraction of water through borewells in Delhi. The stand of the counsel for DPCC is that the competent authority is DJB, and not CGWA. To support the contention, the counsel has placed reliance upon Section 9 of the Delhi Jal Board Act 1998 and submitted that in terms of sections 9(1)(b) and Section 9(1)(d), the responsibility to regulate and manage the exploitation of groundwater in Delhi is with DJB,” noted the tribunal.

NGT also observed that the Union environment and forest ministry in 1997 had exercised the power conferred upon it under Section 3(3) of the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 to constitute the Central Ground Water Board as an authority for the regulation and control of groundwater management and development. The bench, hence, issued the notice to both DJB and CGWA.

According to a report filed on November 28 by the subdivisional magistrate (Karol Bagh), two borewells were sealed at Paharganj on November 2, and during another sealing, “the hotel owners and others created ruckus and threatened to catch hold of the live electricity wires if any further sealing took place”.

As the sealing exercise was put on hold, the bench asked the Lodging House Owners Association to file a report disclosing their power and duties for the management and control of groundwater in Delhi and the action taken by them in this regard.

  • Published On Dec 7, 2023 at 02:00 PM IST

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