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NGT imposes strict rules for commercial use of Groundwater

National Green Tribunal has imposed strict norms for the commercial use of groundwater and has asked the management to be strict while granting permits

Pritam Kashyap

National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed stricter rules for the commercial use of groundwater and has asked the authorities to be strict in granting permits, initiating harsh actions in case of breaches, alongside mandating the third-party compliance audit of companies per annum. 

NGT has struck down the Central spring water Authority’s (CGWA) 2020 guidelines, by stating that they were against the law and as told by an industry executive, the newest move by NGT has placed on hold about 20,000 applications for no-objection certificates from the industry on the groundwater use. To the NGT direction, industries must expect an entire rebuild within the manner during which the permits are issued for the extraction of groundwater for commercial activities and must make sure that all the conditions are complied with it. 

tube well water

NGT tribunal has specifically banned the overall permission for the withdrawal of groundwater, especially to the commercial entities without an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and therefore the permits must be for the required quantity of water & must be monitored with digital flow metres and audited per annum by the third parties for correct functioning. Stricter actions, including prosecution and blacklisting, must be taken against those that will fail the audit as per the new rules, and therefore the authorities are given three months to form water management plans for all the overexploited, semi-critical, and important areas. Around 8,00,000 companies which are falling under such areas are accounting for about one-third of all 3,881 groundwater assessment units. In India, around 89% of groundwater is extracted by the farmers and 5% by the industries and therefore the remainder of the underground water is employed for domestic purpose as household use. 

The India National Green Tribunal Act came into force on 2 June 2010. The creation of this law became necessary within the country since it became a world consensus in 1992 at the worldwide United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio. Many constitutional bodies of India also recommended it. The National Green Tribunal may be a constitutional body. It covers all the laws and regulations of environment, water, forest, air and biodiversity applicable within the country.

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