Having drawn flak from the high court,the Punjab government has finally issued directions to all concerned authorities to ensure that underground water is utilised only for drinking purposes and not for construction.
The state filed an affidavit through Vinod Kumar Bhalla,special secretary,local government department,informing this in the high court Thursday during the resumed hearing of a PIL filed by Advocate H C Arora.
Bhalla,in his affidavit,said that the state has issued instructions on May 20 to all the urban local bodies that within municipal areas,the underground water from the borewells or tubewells will be used for drinking and domestic purposes only. Also,the authorities have been directed that alternative sources such as surface water or treated water from nearby sewerage treatment plant will be used for construction purposes.
He has also assured that water meters will be installed on all borewells/tubewells within a month to monitor the quantity of water extracted.
In a separate affidavit,Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) has stated that rain water harvesting will be provided in all mega housing projects. Besides,sewage treatment plant will also be provided in all projects of 10 acres and above. Such mega projects will re-cycle the treated water for irrigation,and surplus water will be utilised for beautification.
PUDAs affidavit states that a tubewell installed in Park Avenue,Budhlada,and three tubewells in Amritsar have been stopped and action initiated for ensuring the installation of water meters on tubewells meant for drinking purpose falling in PUDA areas or the areas notified by the Central Ground Water Authority.