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Builders under fire over groundwater extraction

india Updated: Aug 19, 2012 00:23 IST
HT Correspondent

The Haryana Town and Country Planning Department has slapped showcause notices to 52 developers who were allegedly extracting groundwater using borewells illegally for construction of residential and commercial projects in Gurgaon.

In a survey conducted recently, the department claimed to have found illegal borewells installed at a total of 81 sites in gross violation of the July 31 directive issued by the Punjab and Haryana high court banning the use of groundwater for construction work.

The department is set to file a reply on the number of borewells extracting groundwater for construction purposes in the high court on Tuesday.

The builders, however, claimed they had not received any showcause notice and would be able to comment only after studying the letter.

But the real estate firms indicated that projects would be delayed and the costs may rise as they would have to source water from private water tankers. The Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) has failed to lay water supply lines for construction sites, the builders rued.

The developers under fire include some big players as well such as DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developer, Ansal Properties and Infrastructure, Emaar MGF, Vatika, Era Infrastructure, Raheja Developers, Bestech and Tulip Infratech.

Majority of the projects in which groundwater is being used are in Sector 58-115 carved out under Gurgaon Master Plan 2025. In a major crackdown, more notices are likely to be issued in the coming days.

A maximum of six notices have been issued to Raheja Developers, followed by five to DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developer and four each to Tulip Infratech and Vatika. Similarly three notices each were issued to Emaar MGF, Chintels India and Bestech India.

Other offenders include AN Buildwell, ABW Buildwell, Aggarwal Developers, ALM Infotech, Countrywide Promoters Private limited, Deputy Gothwal Construction Private Limited, Dharmpal Private Limited, Headway Buildcon, Ish Kripa Properties, JMD Limited, JSG Builders, Jubilant Malls, Jubilant Software Services and others.

Earlier the high court had also prohibited the Haryana government from issuing fresh licenses to builders unless they give a written undertaking that they would not use groundwater for construction.

According to a spokesman of the department, the realtors have been strictly directed that groundwater should not be used for construction purpose.

The Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) and Gurgaon deputy commissioner PC Meena have been asked to take action for sealing unauthorised tubewells and borewells in Gurgaon.

The builders have been asked to explain within 15 days the reasons for "using groundwater for construction purposes" against the approval of CGWB or State Environment Impact Assessment Authority or Haryana State Pollution Control Board and also in violation of last month's orders of the high court.