Report by the Oversight Committee regarding illegal extraction of groundwater in Uttar Pradesh, 17/09/2020

Report of the Oversight Committee, National Green Tribunal in Original Application No. 176/2015 in the matter of Shailesh Singh Vs Hotel Holiday Regency, Moradabad & Others.

The Committee noted that till date proper identification of industries and commercial establishments which are doing illegal extraction of groundwater has not been done in Uttar Pradesh. For this, the Central Groundwater Authority (CGWA) must coordinate with Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) in order to make a detailed document about the commercial users of groundwater Regional officers of the UPPCB must conduct inspection visits so as to identify the defaulters and thereafter the list of defaulters should be sent to District Magistrates for action.

District Magistrates/ District Commissioners have been assigned the authority to take action against industries and commercial establishments withdrawing groundwater illegally. However, it has been observed that no enforcement had taken place so far. The Guidelines of CGWA for grant of NOC to industries mentions the mandatory conditions to seek permission for groundwater extraction. The report recommended that during the inspection visits conducted before granting NOCs, the officials must check each and every aspect and not just follow a mechanical approach.

The Committee noted that the CGWA does not adequate manpower to monitor groundwater status and extraction at both macro and micro level. It is primarily due to this reason that illegal extraction of groundwater is prevalent in Uttar Pradesh.

Note: The report of September 917, 2020 was uploaded to the NGT site on December 15, 2020