Despite the ban on the use of submersible pumps in Ghaziabad, these continue to be used illegally in Ghaziabad in gross violation of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order recently, that has expressly asked the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) under the aegis of the Central Ground water Board (CGWB), to seal all borewells/ submersible pumps in Ghaziabad and Hapur. As Ghaziabad falls under the ‘notified’ area where availability of groundwater has reached critical levels, environmentalists have pointed out to urgency of regulating extraction of groundwater—both commercial and domestic.

Across colonies starting from Vaishali Sec. 1, 2, 4, 6, Vasundhara Sectors, 19, 17, 15, 13, 16, 12, 10, 4, 5, 7, Kaushambi, Brij Vihar, Surya Nagar etc, residents are using submersible pumps illegally, despite adequate water supply in these colonies by the Ghaziabad Municipal Corporation.

After the NGT order, the CGWA had issue guidelines (binding on all state water authorities) that clearly state that anyone wanting to use submersible pumps/ borewells for domestic use would have to obtain an NOC from the CGWA. However, the guidelines expressly state that this NOC would be only given if the domestic users/ households do not get alternate supply from the local municipal corporation or Authority.

Akash Vashishtha, petitioner and green activist of Ghaziabad said that most submersible pumps used by resident are illegal as water supply is available in most areas of Ghaziabad. According to him, “Any individual or household using submersible pumps in urban set-ups is violating the order of the green court.”

Submersible pumps are a common sight in trans-Hindon areas of Ghaziabad that have now become fully habitable with the emergence of colonies like Indirapuram, Vaishali, Kaushambi, Vasundhara, Shalimar Garden among others. Earlier, when these colonies were not habited residents could withdraw water easily by little digging. But with builder invasion these colonies have turned into concrete jungles and lakhs of people live here today, putting pressure on water supply. The Municipal Corporation of Ghaziabad and the Ghaziabad Development Authority find it challenging to supply water to these new-found colonies as their inhabitants grew in number.

With population rising and with illegal housing also thriving rampant water extraction took place in the trans-Hindon colonies leading to the water level falling down considerably. Large scale construction of commercial spaces and housing societies led to indiscriminate extraction of groundwater and this continued further with the booming of housing societies.

“In all these years, illegal exploitation of water has led to Ghaziabad coming under the dark zone. Moreover, with virtually no one bothering about water harvesting measures has not helped the situation,” said Vashishtha.

However, many residents spoke to said that although they welcome the banning of use of submersibles, the Municipal Corporation and the GDA should also discharge their duties in a proper manner to supply adequate water to the residents.

Prasoon Pant, Editor




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