The Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has the mandate to regulate ground water extraction by “industries/projects” including Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), government has told the National Green Tribunal.
“CGWA has been constituted under Section 3(3) of the Environment (Protection) Act and it has the mandate to regulate and control development and management of water resources in the country,” an affidavit submitted by Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in the NGT said.
It said CGWA has been “conferred with the power to regulate and control, management and development of ground water in the country and to issue necessary regulatory directions for the purpose… CGWA has the mandate of regulating withdrawal of ground water by industries/projects,”
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The affidavit was filed by the Ministry in response to a plea filed by Delhi resident Kush Kalra alleging that DMRC was extracting groundwater instead of using wastewater to wash its trains, resulting in depletion of water table.
The plea, filed through advocate Kush Sharma, had sought directions to DMRC to compensate as per “Polluter Pays Principle” for exploiting the groundwater to wash metro trains without any permission from the requisite authorities.
The tribunal had earlier slammed DMRC over the use of groundwater for washing of the trains and directed it to submit details of the permission granted to it for extraction of groundwater.