The National Green Tribunal came down heavily on Delhi authorities for failing to ensure adequate water supply to all and prevent illegal boring in the city.
The bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar noted, “…It cannot be denied that the Delhi Jal Board, Central Ground Water Authority, Delhi government and corporations concerned have a statutory and a public administrative obligation to ensure adequate water supply to various parts of Delhi and that there is no illegal extraction of ground water in any manner whatsoever.”
The NGT, in its order, directed the authorities concerned to set up committees, which will visit and seal industries extracting water illegally. It further said the committee will prepare a complete report on the number of borewells operating in the industrial pockets, particularly in Bawana and Narela, and assess if the borewells are legal.
“We direct the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and DJB to submit a complete and comprehensive report as to why they have not fixed any meters for calculating cess,” the NGT said, adding that “senior officers shall be responsible for ensuring” that the order is carried out.
The petition in the case was filed by the NGT Bar Association and Raj Hans Bansal, who opposed the illegal use of groundwater in Delhi. The case will be heard next on August 22.
Can’t make EVS compulsory: NGT
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has dismissed as “unmaintainable” a plea that sought directions to make teaching Environmental Studies compulsory and that it be taught by qualified postgraduate teachers. An NGT bench, headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar, rejected the petition filed by M C Mehta, saying that it did not have the jurisdiction to entertain the issue. Mehta had sought compliance of a 1991 Supreme Court order, in which it had directed UGC and Central and state governments to provide compulsory environmental education in schools and colleges across the country.