Falling ground water table has put a spanner on new real estate projects in sprawling Gurgaon and Faridabad districts of Haryana.
The Central Ground Water Authority has refused to give permission for further extraction of ground water for construction in these two districts, pushing an Environment ministry committee to put half a dozen mega housing projects on hold.
The ministry’s Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC), mandated to review and decide on construction projects, refused to give approval to housing projects from companies such as Tulip Infratech, DLF New Gurgoan Home Developers Limited, Golden Glow Estate.
A DLF spokesperson refused to comment saying the state government will reply to the concerns raised by the environment ministry committee.
DLF has proposed Manesar Urban Complext in Sector 82-A, for which it required 389 kilo litres of water every day but failed to indicate from where the water will come. Similar was the story of other developers as they were relying on permission from the authority to extract ground water.
All the projects considered by EAC were approved by Haryana State Pollution Control Board but did not examine the impact of the projects on underground water level.
The underground water in non-flooded areas of Gurgaon and Faridabad has fallen in recent years because of unprecedented growth and is as low as 70 meters below the ground level in certain areas.
This was a major concern of the ministry’s committee, which in its last meeting observed that most of the constructions proposals from Gurgaon and Faridabad lacked assured source of “water supply both for construction and also for operation of the projects”.
Although the companies claimed that the water will be supplied through tankers, the committee expressed anguish at they failing to indicate from where the water will be transported.
“In some of the proposals project proponent presented a letter issued by the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon that water supply will be made available in three to five years whereas in others cases no details were submitted,” the committee said, while pointing out these projects will not sustain without assured supply of water.
The EAC sought comments of the government agencies related with management of the underground water. Authority’s member secretary Sushil Gupta ruled out giving permission to these companies to extract ground water for construction. In Faridabad, withdrawal of water outside the municipal limit was permissible, he said.
The saving grace for the companies is that the committee has asked Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to present its case at the meeting this month end.