A new rule imposing restrictions by the Central Ground Water Authority to check the growing depletion of groundwater level has left the industry worried and confused.
The leather industry, which is one of the largest guzzlers of water, is concerned about the new rule. “It’s not easy to implement and could lead to large-scale malpractice with the state government as the implementing agency,” says Rajesh Kumar, who has leather and meat by-product factories in Uttar Pradesh.
Hydro geologists too are unimpressed. “It is a marked improvement over the last rule but it concentrates more power with the implementing authorities, which is not good,” says Dr MVRL Murthy, former CSIR scientist and consulting hydro geologist to various food and beverage companies.
The association representing Coca Cola and Pepsi and others feels it is more autocratic and the authorities need to discuss with the industry.
“If it is for the new industries, they will follow it. But for existing plants, you can’t put new conditions overnight,” says Arvind Verma, secretary general, Indian Beverage Association.
The textile industry feels that the sector is already following many of the guidelines. “So not much impact would be there because of this guideline,” said an expert in the textile sector, who did not want to be named.