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NGT issues notice to Jal Shakti Ministry on potable water contamination

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New Delhi, Aug 20 (Ajit Weekly News) The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has sought the response of the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti on the issue of using potable water for industrial purposes and its contamination.

NGT Chairperson Justice (retd) Adarsh Kumar Goel issued notice to the Ministry and other respondents while dealing a plea against alleged green violations of industrial units at Barhi Industrial area in Haryana’s Sonipat.

“We note that on the one hand, potable water is being allowed to be used for industrial purposes, on the other hand, the sewage water which can be used for such purposes is being mixed with potable water in stormwater drains and rivers resulting in contamination of potable water. A comprehensive water management strategy may require preventing pollution and the use of potable water for industrial purposes.

“For this purpose, we find it necessary to implead as party and to issue notice to the Ministry of Jal Shakti for its response,” the tribunal said in its order.

The bench also issued notice to the Haryana Water Resource Authority to consider the issue of whether permission can be granted for the extraction of groundwater in the over-exploited areas.

The extraction of groundwater for commercial/industrial purposes was being allowed even in over exploited area where recharge was not taking place, defeating the ‘sustainable development’ principle, said the tribunal.

There was no effective regulatory framework to assess the extent of replenishment which was a condition for permitting extraction of groundwater.

It was such failure that was resulting in further depletion of groundwater tables.

Though there were provisions for rain water harvesting and other measures, the compliance of such policies remained a challenge.

Mechanical imposition of conditions which were never monitored was another failure due to which depletion of groundwater could not be checked, the order said.

–Ajit Weekly News

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