In a bid to check the depleting groundwater level, the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has said a ‘one-family one-house rule’ should be made mandatory in the twin cities of Noida and Greater Noida.
In a report to the National Green Tribunal on Thursday, the authority recommended that houses should be purchased for residential purposes and not merely for investment.
The water body said the measure would discourage indiscriminate concretisation of the region (Noida and Greater Noida) and increase ground water recharge.
The NGT had asked the CGWA to find out the reasons behind groundwater depletion in the two cities on a petition filed by a Greater Noida resident, who demanded a ban on the misuse of the precious resource.
According to an earlier report of the CGWA in 2012, the water table had been depleting at a rate of 3.87 metre per year against the earlier 1 metre in two largest blocks of Gautam Budh Nagar district - Dankaur and Bisrakh — from 2008 to 2012.
“The water table will slip into the critical zone in the next 2-3 years if groundwater exploitation is not checked,” said Gauhar Mahmood of Jamia Milia University’s engineering department. Mahmood had worked on a rainwater conservation master plan for Noida.
The NGT is yet to take a call on the one-house suggestion.
Realtors were miffed with the CGWA report and said it would affect their business if taken seriously.
“The CGWA is in a way passing the buck to private parties (realtors) for water conservation. It is a bizarre suggestion,” said Gitambar Anand, national president of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI).
“If the central government approves a one-house one-family rule, then it can be implemented,” said Rama Raman chairman of the Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway authorities.