The Supreme Court today asked all states to clarify whether they would implement the Centre’s master plan for artificial recharge of ground water in India. A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud asked the state governments to apprise it by tomorrow after noting that several states like Assam, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana have not yet filed affidavits in this regard. “The state governments will inform us tomorrow whether the 2013 master plan for artificial recharge of ground water as suggested by the Government of India will be implemented or not by them,” the bench said and fixed the matter for hearing tomorrow. The apex court had earlier directed all state governments to file affidavits affirming whether they would implement the 2013 master plan after the Centre had said its copies have been supplied to the states. The Centre had said the issue of ground water harvesting was “important” and it had circulated various plans from time to time to all the states from 2006 onwards. The apex court had earlier asked the states to specify the status of implementation of the master plan of Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) on ground water harvesting, terming it an “important issue”.
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The Centre had told the top court that most of the states have implemented CGWA master plan with regard to harvesting of ground water, while the Delhi government had said they have made it mandatory for all new buildings to have water harvesting systems in place. The court was hearing a petition which had raised concern over the depleting ground water level across the country.