Groundwater ban violation: Checks ordered

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NOIDA: The National Green Tribunal on Monday appointed local commissioners to conduct surprise inspections of real estate developers’ sites in Noida and Greater Noida to ascertain if there are any violations of the ban imposed on builders for extracting groundwater in the district. The surprise checks at construction sites in the twin cities were ordered after the tribunal was informed that developers have been extracting groundwater in a discreet manner violating the ban.

The directions for conducting the checks were issued by the principal bench of the tribunal headed by chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar. The issue of groundwater extraction was brought to the notice of the tribunal on Monday on the basis of a TOI report which highlighted how networks of pipelines have been installed by developers — particularly in Sector 94 of Noida — to empty groundwater being extracted from their sites at other locations.

The court-appointed inspection commissioners have been asked to submit a report on August 22, the next date of hearing. Earlier in January, the NGT had imposed a complete ban on the use of groundwater in the twin cities. Several packaged water plants, also resorting to groundwater extraction, were asked by the tribunal to shut down their operations. The ban, however, continues for developers though a number of water bottling plants have been allowed to resume operations following their adherence to certain terms and conditions.


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