Ghaziabad, April 26: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday, April 26 issued notice to 10 government agencies in Ghaziabad on the issue of fast-depleting groundwater in the district.The court fixed the next hearing in the case on May 30.
The agencies put on notice by the NGT include Ghaziabad development authority, the municipal corporation, the Uttar Pradesh pollution control board and the central ground water authority (CGWA).
Petitioner Sushil Raghav submitted that the CGWA guidelines in 2015 are being flouted on a massive scale due to which the groundwater had depleted, leading to an alarming situation. The groundwater had gone down from 10 metres below ground level to 20 mbgl within 10 years.
The guidelines detail the definition of notified and non-notified areas and activities for which extraction of groundwater is permissible with prior no-objection certificate from the CGWA.
The guidelines categorically state that even existing industries drawing groundwater but not obtained the NOC from CGWA shall not be granted the certificate for groundwater use in over-exploited areas.
The petitioner said it had however been noticed that unabated extraction of groundwater by water-intensive industries in the notified area was continuing.
The Ghaziabad municipal corporation too has allegedly been extracting groundwater illegally through borewells in its nurseries, green belts, parks and community centres across the city in over-exploited areas.
The petition prayed for orders to close all water-intensive industries/projects using groundwater as raw material in over-exploited areas in Bhojpur, Loni, Muradnagar and Razapur blocks of Ghaziabad and Garh, Hapur and Simbhaoli blocks in Hapur.
He also sought directions to the UP Pollution Control Board to grant the NOCs only after the industry/project had obtained necessary approval from the Central Ground Water Authority.