Commercial establishments such as hotels will soon have to pay for use of water extracted from borewells.
Concerned over the rate at which the groundwater level is declining, the Delhi government plans to install meters at all borewells dug up at commercial establishments across the Capital.
Though these establishments and individuals have to take government approval for digging a borewell and pay a one-time fee, they do not pay for the water they withdraw.
The Delhi government’s revenue department has said it is receiving a number of complaints of tanker mafia misusing the borewells and selling the water to the general public, especially in summer when the city faces acute water shortage.
“There are a number of people who have taken permission to dig borewells and some of them are misusing it by selling that water to others. We have decided to keep tab on groundwater extraction as people are drawing large quantities of water without paying for it,” said Dharam Pal, Delhi revenue secretary.
“Once they have to pay money for it, they will use water more judiciously,” he added.
A meeting was held recently where officials from the revenue and environment department decided to map all borewells will be mapped. The environment department has already begun the process.
“We have asked the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB), Delhi Jal Board and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to supply us a list of permission granted for digging borewells. All these will be mapped using GPS,” said a senior Delhi government official.
Many divisions of the DJB have already sent information on the total number of borewells in their areas.
According to officials, there are approximately 1.2 lakh borewells in the Capital.
“For metering too, our focus will be on borewells that have a bigger diameter. After that, we will concentrate on individuals,” said a senior official.