Unhappy with reply on tubewells in city, NGT summons DJB CEO

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SummaryWith the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) failing to give a clear picture regarding the number of tubewells in the capital

With the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) failing to give a clear picture regarding the number of tubewells in the capital, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday directed the DJB CEO to appear before it.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar passed the order after it found the affidavit filed by the DJB “inadequate” on the questions raised by the tribunal on the last date of hearing.

The tribunal termed as “fictitious” the statement made by the DJB in its affidavit regarding number of tubewells and said the agency was expected to inspect the areas to find out how many borewells are there and not rely on records.

“Affidavit on behalf of Delhi Jal Board has been filed on June 10, 2013. This affidavit does not in any way comply with directions contained in order of July 10, 2013... The affidavit is inadequate and does not provide the requisite information,” the tribunal said.

“Let the CEO of DJB be present before the tribunal on the next date of hearing. We expected the Delhi government to file a comprehensive affidavit, which has not been filed. Let Deputy

Commissioner of Revenue be also present on the next date of hearing,” it said and listed the matter for September 3.

The NGT on the last date of hearing had directed the DJB to file an affidavit stating specifically how many tubewells are there in Delhi, how many of them are authorised and what action has been taken against the illegal ones.

The DJB in its affidavit had stated that, as per their records, there are only 55 tubewells in East Delhi and that it was no longer the competent authority to give permission for tubewells. The DJB said it was the function of the Revenue Department.

The DJB also informed the NGT that revenue officers of each district was responsible for permitting tubewells/borewells and the DJB was only concerned with supply of water.

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