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High Court slams Haryana Town and Country Planning/HUDA lax attitude

Postby dheerajjain » Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:01 pm ... 06200.aspx

Far from finding a solution to the problem of groundwater depletion in Gurgaon, the Haryana government seems to be at sea at gauging the magnitude of the alarming situation.

While hearing a PIL on Tuesday, the Punjab and Haryana High Court asked the principal secretary of the Haryana town and country planning department, SS Dhillon, “Do you not realise the seriousness of the matter?... Where will the next generation go if we extract the complete groundwater?”During the hour-long hearing in the case, the judges questioned Dhillon for nearly half an hour over the government's seriousness in addressing the issue.

The court also expressed anguish over the fact that the Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) filed an affidavit over the water woes of the district through an official of the rank of executive engineer.

As evident by its own contradictory submissions in the last three years during the case, various agencies of the state government have displayed sheer callousness over the issue.

Huda admitted in its affidavit that it did not supply water to large commercial and residential projects and builders were managing to get water on their own. Most of the 450 ongoing construction activities in Gurgaon for which the licences have been given after 2008 use groundwater extracted through illegally dug borewells.

The irrigation department has sealed several of them in the past.

Dhillon informed the court that as per the 2011 census, population of the entire Gurgaon district is around 18 lakh.

“The water requirement of areas under Huda is 11 million gallons daily (MGD) but only 70% requirement is being met. According to norms, 135 litre per capita per day should be supplied but we are able to roughly give 100 litre per capita per day. R200 crore is being spent on development of water works for Gurgaon which would be ready by December end,” he said.

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