The National Green Tribunal on Friday asked the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to explain why it had failed to build rainwater harvesting systems at as many as 43 stations.
This was after the DMRC admitted only 63 of its stations are capable of storing rainwater for future use. The tribunal also ordered the DMRC to explain through an affidavit if they are actually working.
The DMRC said many of the stations were located on congested roads so it was difficult to build underground tanks. The tribunal did not buy this, saying the DMRC could build stations on the same roads but not tanks, while both had to be done together.
None of the six stations in Noida can store rainwater. Of the seven maintenance depots, only the one at Sarita Vihar has this facility. A petition has accused DMRC of not ensuring rainwater harvesting at many Metro stations in Delhi-NCR, wasting 8 crore litres of precious water every monsoon.
The NGT also issued notices to 18 units including top hospitals, government departments, institutions and a residential society to respond to a petition which accuses them of wasting millions of litres of rainwater every monsoon.
The tribunal directed Delhi’s environment department and pollution control committee to inspect all these 18 units, including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and report to the green body. They will also explain the water quality and its use.
The petition says these units have installed rainwater harvesting systems but they are not functioning. They will respond to the notice on December 9, when the matter would be heard next.
Notices have been earlier issued to the Delhi Jal Board, National Highways Authority of India, the Public Works Department, Delhi Development Authority and the New Delhi Municipal Corporation.