No land in Delhi will now be allotted nor people will be allowed to occupy any house or apartment in multi-storeyed buildings in future unless these structures have rain-harvesting systems in place, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ruled.
Issuing directives to all the pertinent authorities, a bench led by chairperson Swatanter Kumar said that no completion certificates or occupancy and allotment letters shall be given to private builders or public agencies till such time they fulfill the mandate of having the rainwater harvesting system to contribute towards the recharge of groundwater.
“We direct that henceforth any public body, corporations, authorities and the government will not allot any land to any of the society or issue completion certificate/occupancy certificate for any house or flat unless it contains the stipulation that rain harvesting system should be installed and made operational.
“In such occupancy or allotment letter issued, this condition should be satisfied and is required to be recorded by the concerned authority after personal inspection,” the NGT ruled. For constant monitoring of the issue, the tribunal constituted committees comprising representatives from the Delhi government, Delhi Jal Board, Delhi Pollution Control Committee and Central Ground Water Authority to “ensure that rain harvesting system are effective and operational, in the larger interest of the environment and, more particularly, with reference to the depleting levels of underground water”.
The committees will also nominate respective officers in the department, who will be responsible for ensuring the operation and maintenance of the rain harvesting systems, besides examining the responses of the Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) regarding existence and efficacy of the rainwater harvesting system in their societies.
“The committees so constituted shall examine these replies, conduct a site visit to the premises of all the respective RWAs and submit the report to the Tribunal,” the order stated, adding the committees will put notices on the internet and widely inform all the RWAs to come forward and submit their responses.
Disgruntled over their laxity to show up and submit explanations for inducting rainwater harvesting system in hospitals, the tribunal also issued bailable warrants against the medical superintendents of three government and two private hospitals.
It issued the warrants against CEOs or medical superintendents of Maulana Azad Medical College, Maulana Azad Dental College ,Vardhman Mahavir Medical College, Max Hospital and Fortis Hospital in the sum of Rs 10,000 and asked them to appear before it on the next date of hearing.
With inputs from Aniruddha Ghosal