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HCs advise against illegal extraction of water

india Updated: Sep 14, 2011 22:43 IST
Sanjeev Verma

Taking serious note of the enormity of depleting ground water level all over the country, including Gurgaon, due to illegal extraction of water through borewells mainly by private developers even for construction purpose, the Punjab and Haryana high court has advised the Central Ground Water Authority(CGWA) to make all out efforts to arrest the problem.

The division bench headed by justice Jasbir Singh also made it clear that sufficient directions have been issued to the deputy commissioners and other concerned authorities to address the issue and even then if they fail to act, it would amount to contempt of court.

During the resumed hearing of the case, on Wednesday, advocate SS Sandhu appearing for the union government submitted that CGWA has sent a proposal to the concerned ministry for sanctioning of 116 posts at various levels to check the problem in around 400 "dark zones" in the country due to over exploitation of ground water. He also informed the bench about the figures relating to depletion of water level in Gurgaon as directed by the bench earlier. The development took place during the hearing of a public interest litigation filed by one Sunil Singh and Qutab Enclave Residents Welfare Association, DLF Phase-I in Gurgaon. The petitioners have sought directions from the high court to the state government and other concerned agencies to restrain illegal use and exploitation of ground water for construction and other commercial purposes and to initiate strict action against violators.

Appearing for the petitioners advocate Amit Singh has submitted that there are more than 18,000 borewells operating in Gurgaon and 50% of them are operating illegally. It was also intimated that in 2004 CGWA in its survey had found that over exploitation of ground water in Gurgaon had increased 300%.

Adding further, the petitioners mentioned that the hydro graph prepared by CGWA shows that in 1980 the water in Gurgaon was 15 meters below the ground level and by 2000 it had plummeted down to 35 meters, which still continue to fall at the rate of one to 1.2 meters annually. In 2006, CGWA had issued public notice declaring the Gurgaon Block as "over exploited" for regulation of ground water development, read the petition.