Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding unauthorized withdrawal of groundwater in major cities of Uttar Pradesh, 17/10/2022

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Arti Vs Central Ground Water Authority & Others dated 17/10/2022.

The matter related to unauthorized withdrawal of groundwater in major cities of Uttar Pradesh. The court noted that there is large scale illegal extraction of groundwater in Uttar Pradesh by hotels, marriage halls, party lawns including in areas which are scarce in availability of groundwater.

The NGT directed deposit of interim compensation by all the establishments identified as extracting groundwater without permission as well those not having consents to operate under the Water Act. The quantum of interim compensation was calculated by the Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam.

The compensation deposited will be kept in separate accounts by the District Magistrates for utilisation in accordance with the respective District Environment Plans within six months for improving water quantity and quality, restoring water bodies and taking other relevant measures in their respective districts.

The tribunal directed that while granting consents, the requirement of installing digital water metres connected to central servers must be laid down.

The establishments are required to furnish an appraisal report with regard to the "quantity of groundwater available for extraction in the area and replenishment measures proposed by the concerned establishment such as rain water harvesting, sewage treatment, use of treated sewage. Such appraisal report may be duly verified by the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board by an appropriate mechanism," the NGT order said.