Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding operation of illegal water filling plants in Delhi, 13/07/2020

  • 13/07/2020

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Rakesh Kumar Vs Govt. of NCT of Delhi dated 13/07/2020.

A report was sought from the Delhi Jal Board and the North Delhi Municipal Corporation with reference to the allegation that water filling plants were being operated without license and supplying contaminated water to the residents at 1091, Gali Goshiyan, Kashmere Gate, 1/8, Third floor, near Axis Bank, Kashmere Gate, 1402-1403, Tilak Bazar, Tilak Chowk, Novelty, 4616, Dipti Ganj, Sadar Bazar, 9058, Ram Bagh Road, Azad Market, Delhi, 2144, Gali Chudi walan, Paan Mandi, Sadar Bazar, 4460, Pahadi Dheeraj, Madras Cloth House, Delhi, 602, Katra Neel, Gali Ghateshwar, Chandini Chowk, Delhi, 3936, Imli Wali Basi, Gali Barna, Sadar Bazar, Delhi, 4686, Umraojaan Gali, Pahadi Dheeraj, Sadar Bazar, Delhi and Ritij Hall, Kashmere Gate, Delhi.

The NGT in its order of May 15, 2020 said that the reports filed by the DJB showed existence of unauthorised borewells at many locations, as well as closing of borewells at some locations. But the report furnished does not show the remedial action by way of closing of the borewells and recovery of compensation for the illegal drawal of ground water, adversely affecting the environment.

The NGT had called for devising suitable effective mechanism for preventing extraction of ground water by way of unauthorized tubewells and wherever such illegalities found, prompt coercive measures should be taken.

A report has been filed by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on July 11, 2020 to the effect that Environment Department, Government of Delhi has prepared SOP titled ‘Regulation of extraction of ground water, closure, prohibition of illegal activities relating to use of borewells/tubewells’. In the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) clear responsibilities have been assigned to various agencies as DJB/local bodies and block development officers for identification of illegal borewells depending on nature of use and Deputy Commissioners (Revenue) of the districts have been assigned the role of supervision of checking the violation and closure of illegal borewells.

An inter departmental advisory committee has been constituted for each district to assist the Deputy Commissioners. It has been observed that often the drilling machines/rigs are used to dig illegal borewells the mechanism for their regulation including registration and prior permission for movement and deployment has also been incorporated in the SOP.

The mechanism for levying of environmental compensation has also been incorporated in the SOP. It is mentioned that Delhi Jal Board has already identified 19661 illegal borewells on which action is being taken and 7248 units have already been closed down by the district authorities. The remaining units are to be closed down on priority as these have been already identified and the process is to be completed within a period of three months.

The NGT directed the DPCC to oversee the steps to be taken and submit a compliance status by December 31, 2020.