NGT constitutes committee to resolve depleting groundwater levels issue

NGT constitutes committee to resolve depleting groundwater levels issue
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NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has formed a special committee which has been tasked with the responsibility of devising steps that need to be implemented in order to prevent the unauthorized extraction of groundwater.

A bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, NGT Chairperson, directed the committee to evolve a robust mechanism to ensure that groundwater is not illegally extracted and to monitor manning and functioning of the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA).

The committee is constituted with officials such as the joint Secretaries of Ministry of Environment and Forests and Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR), Central Ground Water Board, National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee, National Remote Sensing Centre and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

“The nodal agency will be the Joint Secretary, MoWR for coordination and compliance. The Committee may look into the reports already submitted. The report may be furnished within two months by e-mail,” the tribunal said.

“Unfortunately, in spite of clear directions of the Supreme Court, the CGWA is not willing to take the ownership of the subject and repeatedly takes the plea that it does not have the infrastructure or that the responsibility of dealing with the problem is of the States and not that of the said authority,” the NGT said.

“It is high time that the working of the CGWA is reviewed and remedial measures are taken, including assessment of suitability of the person to head it,” the bench added.

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