Prepare comprehensive plan for recharge of groundwater: NGT to DJB

The National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to prepare a comprehensive plan for groundwater recharge, besides asking authorities to take expeditious action against illegal borewells which had led to serious depletion of water levels in the city.

A bench headed by acting NGT Chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim directed the DJB, which supplies water to the city, to file a detailed affidavit in this regard before May 23.

The tribunal also pulled up the city government and the DJB over illegal borewells and directed the authorities to take speedy action against the violators.

"The senior counsel H S Phoolka submits that taking into consideration all attending circumstances, it is desirable to direct the NCT Delhi and DJB to place before the tribunal whether they have prepared any project or comprehensive plan for recharge of groundwater.

"The counsel for Delhi government submits as far as the Delhi is concerned, if DJB has prepared any such plan it may be forwarded to them for expeditious approval. Be that as it may, we would require DJB to make a statement in this regard," the bench said.

The green panel had earlier asked the government to act against unauthorised water extraction in the national capital and directed it to seal the illegal borewells.

It had directed DJB to submit the list of all illegal borewells running without permission.

The order had come after Delhi government told the tribunal that the Deputy Commissioners of Revenue department could not seal the illegal borewells as they did not receive complete information about them from the DJB, as was directed by the tribunal.

The DJB counsel had opposed the submission and said they had already furnished information about 4,872 borewells to the Deputy Commissioners.

The appalling picture of water supply in the capital had prompted the tribunal to seek the response of the city government in the matter, after taking suo motu cognisance of a media report that "stinking and dirty" water was flowing through water supply lines and the borewells were pumping out contaminated water.

Later, it had constituted a committee comprising Secretary (Environment) and representatives from Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi Pollution Control Committee, DJB, Central Pollution Control Board and all municipal corporations and asked them to submit a complete and comprehensive report.

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