Despite Noida’s groundwater levels falling alarmingly by almost 2 metres per year—as per estimates of Uttar Pradesh Groundwater Department—big commercial enterprises and recreational centres continue to flout the water extraction laws & guidelines at will and no action is ever taken against them.
Gr Noida based environmentalist and founder of NGO SAFE, Vikrant Tongad had complained against illegal water extraction by Noida Golf Course and Water Park at GIP Mall to authorities but so far no action has been taken against the illegal borewells being operated in full violations of the groundwater laws by DM Noida, said Tongad.
CGWA guidelines clearly say that groundwater extraction cannot be done without an NOC and if the area or block falls under over-exploited category then permission to extract water cannot be given other than for drinking& domestic purposes. As Noida falls under the over exploited category such permission could not be given. Next, water intensive industries further are also not permitted to extract groundwater in any manner.
In fact, Regional Director of CGWB, YB Kaushik earlier wrote a letter to DM Gautam Budh Nagar stating that an action taken report on illegal water extraction by Noida Golf Course and Water Park at GIP Mall has not been obtained at his office even after a mail was sent to the DM office for taking action. Tongad said: “Despite the CGWA writing a number of times to Gautam Budh Nagar administration no action has been taken by them against these violators.”
Even more perplexing is the fact that apart from the CGWA, the Noida Authority has also sent notices to both these entities as far back as June, but despite that no stoppage of illegal abstraction has been done by them.
The DM is the nodal officer who has the authority to take action against any such violation in the district.
As per CGWA and NGT orders recycled water only can be used in Noida Golf Course and for the Water Park. The issue is a sad commentary on how the big and the mighty can get away even after 2 authorities—one at the central level and one at the state level—asking them to shut shop.
–By Prasoon Pant