NGT directs 5-star hotels to seek permission for groundwater extraction

The National Green Tribunal has directed five star hotels in the national capital to seek permission from the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) for extraction of groundwater and inform it about the quantity required by them.

A bench headed by Justice R S Rathore also asked the hotels to inform CGWA since when the extraction of groundwater was being done and the monthly quantity taken out by them.

"In view of the notification (by Lt Governor), discussion of the meeting chaired by Chief Secretary of Delhi and the clarification submitted before the tribunal by Director (Environment), we consider it appropriate to direct respondent nos 1 to 6 (hotels) to approach the competent authority for seeking permission to extract groundwater and submit the quantity which is required by them. This exercise shall be done within one month," the bench said.

The green panel said after receiving application from the hotels, the CGWA should decide the same in accordance to law within a month and if it was found that total extraction of water by them was in excess of the permissible limit, they should take action.

"Thereafter, a compliance report in the matter be submitted before the tribunal in two months i.e October 22, 2018. On receipt of the compliance, the office is directed to list the same by listing it separately," the bench said.

The tribunal had earlier said illegal withdrawal of groundwater by hotels cannot be permitted if environment has to be protected and scarce resources saved for future generations.

The NGT was hearing a plea filed by resident Shailesh Singh seeking directions to immediately stop withdrawal of groundwater by five star hotels without permission.

The tribunal had earlier issued notices to three five-star hotels, CGWA, Delhi Jal Board, New Delhi Municipal Council and Central Pollution Control Board.

The petitioner had alleged that various five-star hotels, including Hotel Taj Palace, The Leela Palace and Hotel Jaypee Vasant Continental were using several lakh litres of

groundwater and the sources of water were not visible in their premises.

The plea had alleged that according to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee, one of the hotels was extracting 2,22,600 litres of water from supply and having two

bore-wells to extract groundwater.

Earlier, the tribunal had imposed a fine of Rs 7.5 lakh on one of the hotels after it found unsatisfactory rain water harvesting systems in their premises.


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