The National Green Tribunal has directed the AAP government to submit minutes of the meetings held for preparing a district-wise schedule of the permission granted to the DMRC for extracting ground water. A bench headed by Raghuvendra S Rathore directed the Delhi government to include Deputy Commissioners of every district, Delhi Metro Rail Corpoartaion (DMRC) and Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) for discussions and asked it to expedite the meetings.
“Counsel for the Delhi government has submitted that meetings in respect of all the districts except South Delhi had been held and he will be submitting the records of the meetings. “As regards the district of South Delhi, it has been informed that meeting is fixed for April 20, 2018. The counsel for NGT of Delhi may place minutes of the meetings on record and give copies to all the concerned,” the bench said.
The matter has been posted for next hearing on May 3. The tribunal had earlier warned of halting the capital’s metro services as it slammed the DMRC for not complying with its order on extraction of groundwater without permission. It had directed the Environment Ministry, CGWA, DMRC, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and advocate Kush Sharma, counsel for the applicant, to jointly find out how many stations were withdrawing groundwater without proper permission and sort the approvals.
DJB had earlier told the tribunal that it has not granted permission to the DMRC for extraction of ground water but the metro company has installed 276 borewells across the national capital for which it has no permission. The NGT was hearing a plea filed by Delhi resident Kush Kalra alleging that DMRC was extracting groundwater instead of using waste water to wash its trains, resulting in depletion of the water table.
It had contended that if any individual installed a borewell without permission in his house, the authorities seal it in no time and slap a fine, but the DMRC has installed 276 borewells right under the nose of authorities but no action has been taken till date. Referring to a RTI reply, the plea had said DMRC’s water requirement was met through borewells and DJB connection. It also said that in order to draw water from the borewells, 3 to 5 HP pumps were used.
“No bottled water is used, groundwater after treatment as per requirement is used for train washing…Borewells have been provided in the depots from where water is sourced. “Around 400 to 500 litres of groundwater is used for washing one metro train. The water, after washing of metro train, is sent to Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP). The treated water is then used for gardening and the excess sent to drains,” the RTI reply had revealed.
Another RTI response received from DJB said no permission had been granted to DMRC for digging borewells. In yet another such response, a list of metro stations that had been granted such permission was provided by the board to the DMRC, the plea had said while referring to the contradiction between the responses.