The National Green Tribunal has rapped the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) for filing incomplete report on action taken against industrial units illegally extracting ground water in Noida, bordering Delhi. Irked at the “disdainful” conduct of CGWA, a bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim issued show cause notice to the Member Secretary of CGWA to explain the lapses in its report. “The report is without any factual information of the action taken. It is virtually mockery and disdainful conduct of the officials of the CGWA. “Hence, we direct issuance of show cause to the Member Secretary of CGWA to file affidavit explaining lapses as also the name the officers concerned who are responsible for such lapse. This shall be done within one week from now after serving copy to the counsel for UP pollution control board,” the bench said, while listing the matter for hearing on September 14.
On May 29, the UP pollution control board had filed an affidavit before the NGT stating that it has found various bottling units extracting ground water without obtaining consent from the CGWA. Taking note of the submission, the green panel had asked CGWA to take appropriate action against the erring units and report compliance to the tribunal.
The green panel had earlier imposed an environment compensation of Rs 10 lakh on a Noida-based water bottling unit Beltek Canadian Water for extracting water without permission. It had ordered a joint inspection of Beltek Canadian Water by the Central Pollution Control Board and the UPPCB to ascertain the exact number of tubewells installed at the unit and the quantity of water extracted. It had directed the inspection team to specify the quantity of the water extracted, the nature of pollutants discharged from the factory and whether the area was over- exploited.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Delhi resident Shailesh Singh, through advocate Sudeep Dey, alleging that the unit located in Bisrakh block of Gautam Buddh Nagar district was extracting groundwater through borewells installed in the factory premises without permission from the CGWA.