Adulterating groundwater in UP will now entail heavy fines

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LUCKNOW: In a bid to maintain the depleting water table, a cabinet meeting of the Uttar Pradesh Government has passed the draft of Groundwater Act, 2020. The new act makes the installation of submersible pumps compulsory. The installation of rainwater harvesting systems will now be mandatory for all government, college and private school buildings of Uttar Pradesh.

Sidharth Nath Singh, Minister and spokesperson, Uttar Pradesh government also said that people living in buildings covering more than 300 sq meters area in urban areas will also have to install submersible pumps and rainwater harvesting system. Committees will be formed from gram panchayat level to state level to ensure the implementation of the new act, Singh added. Companies who are already using boring systems will have to register with the aforementioned committees and provide information to the government within one year. Further, maps of government and private buildings won’t be passed without adequate provisions of rainwater harvesting. Charges won’t be applicable for domestic and farming use of the submersible pumps, and e-registration facility will be made available.

A provision of penalty for adulterating groundwater has also been approved by the government. For first time offense, a penalty of Rs 2-5 lakh may be levied along with imprisonment of up to one year. For repeat offense, the jail time will increase to 2-5 years along with the same financial penalty. Third violation would attract a penalty of Rs 10-20 lakh along with 5-7 years in jail.

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