Violating National Green Tribunal (NGT) norms on groundwater extraction, newly developed housing societies that are yet to get water connections are exploiting groundwater.
NGT, in April 2013, had banned groundwater extraction for all purposes as the area falls in the ‘overexploited’ category.
In many housing societies, residents are already moving into the flats despite builders yet to get an occupancy certificate. Residents have to depend on groundwater because the Noida authority gives water connection to a complex only after obtaining occupancy certificate.
Around 30,000-40,000 homebuyers have shifted to incomplete complexes in sectors 45, 46, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 105, 119, 117 and 79 over the last two years.
“Around a 100 families shifted to our complex in Sector 78 because we had already suffered a lot due to a three-year delay by the builder. Since the builder failed to get occupancy certificate, residents are using groundwater, which is hard and not fit to drink,” a resident said.
It is estimated that a highrise complex extracts 8 lakh litres of groundwater per day. There are around 30 such societies in the city.
According to a Central Ground Water Board report, groundwater decreased at a rate of 3.87 metres per year, against the earlier one metre per year, in the two of the largest blocks in the district – Dankaur and Bisrakh (Noida is part of Bisrakh) – from 2008 to 2012.
Similarly, projects of Amrapali Group -- Sapphire, Silver City and Zodiac -- do not have water connection and residents depend on groundwater. Anil Sharma, chairman-cum-managing director, Amrapali Group said that water connections will be obtained very soon.
“We are working out the solution. We will very soon obtain occupancy certificates and also obtain water connection for each complex. We are providing drinking water using tube wells so that residents do not suffer,” Sharma said.
Noida authority officials said they cannot stop builders from extracting groundwater.
“We provide temporary water connection to a housing complex when the builder submits building completion certificate. When occupancy certificate is obtained by a builder, we immediately provide a water connection. The district administration should take action against developers extracting groundwater illegally. Our job is to provide clean Ganga water connection,” Samakant Shrivastava, senior project engineer, Noida authority, said.
However, the district magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar, NP Singh, said that it is the authority’s responsibility to crack down on those extracting groundwater.
Vikram Tongad, an environmentalist, said “Groundwater, which is a national resource, is being wasted because the Noida authority is failing to provide Ganga water. It should be stopped because depletion of groundwater will drastically damage the ecology. I am taking this issue to NGT.”