The National Green Tribunal (NGT) was packed Monday with representatives of 11 agencies caught using groundwater to construct commercial buildings in Noida,but the hearing was postponed to allow time for their defence arguments.
In November last year,Vikrant Tongad from Noida had submitted an application talking about the severe exploitation of groundwater in the area. The NGT in August appointed five commissioners to spontaneously inspect in Noida. Within 24 hours,they had found 12 agencies constructing hotels,residential apartments and other major projects with groundwater.
Earlier this year,Tongads case at the NGT led to the closure of 34 water bottling companies that were extracting,treating and bottling groundwater for sale. Tongad says there are still many more to pursue. A bailable warrant of Rs 20,000 was issued to the CEO of another agency that failed to appear Monday.
In a separate case on Monday that questions whether marble and sand shops are violating environmental norms,representatives of the National Capital Territory failed to appear. However,the judge granted three weeks time to both MoEF and NCT to respond to the applicants claim.
Both cases were scheduled for October 9.