A local commissioner appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in his report has blamed developers of big-ticket projects in Noida and Greater Noida of wasting groundwater and rainwater instead of taking steps to conserve it.
The report, submitted to the NGT on August 7, said real estate companies while building residential and commercial towers extract groundwater for construction and dump rainwater into drains thereby flouting environmental norms.
According to building regulations and environment norms, it is mandatory for realtors to build pits (300 metres or more) on their sites to conserve rainwater, Noida Authority officials said.
According to the Central Groundwater Authority's 2012 report, the water table had been depleting at a rate of 3.87 metre per year. The decline was just 1 metre between 2008 and 2012 in two of the largest blocks of Gautam Budh Nagar district --- Dankaur and Bisrakh.
The entire Noida and Greater Noida West areas fall under the Bisrakh block while parts of Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway Authority falls under the Dankaur block.
The local commissioner in his report also said that at all the nine sites he inspected in Noida, builders were extracting groundwater through borewells for construction purposes. He found that there was no water conservation system in place at two residential towers in Noida and Greater Noida West.
"At Greater Noida West's Gaur City, owned by Gaur Sons High-Tech Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, I found a borewell at the project site, but labourers said the same was not functional. Another borewell, workers said, is being used to fill a tank with 10,000-litre capacity. And the groundwater is being used for construction purposes," the commissioner's report said.
But Gaur Sons denied this. "We have installed a waste treatment plant at the site and we use treated sewage for construction purposes. I have a full record of this," Manoj Gaur, promoter of Gaur Sons, said.
"At Noida's Silicon City owned by Amrapali Silicon City Pvt Ltd, a 40-acre residential project, I saw a borewell at the site connected to a concrete mixing plant. Workers said the concrete mixing plant is being used for construction at the site only. Workers said the Noida authority is not supplying drinking water to 250 families, who have shifted into a portion of the project site. There was no rainwater conservation facility in place at this project. And the Noida authority should clarify on this issue," the report said.
Amrapali spokesperson said, "We adhere to all laid-down environment norms. We are not aware of the content of the report of the local commissioner."
In an affidavit submitted to the NGT by real estate companies, it was claimed that on an average, a developer in Noida extracts 2.5 lakh litre of water every day. With more than 4,000 small and big-ticket projects coming up in Noida and Greater Noida, the impact is anybody's guess.