NGT seeks a Joint Committee Report into allegation of illegal extraction of ground water by a Housing Society in Siddhartha Vihar, Ghaziabad

The NGT on  2.09.2020 admitted a matter concerning large scale extraction of ground water by borewells for the project Prateek Grand City at Siddhartha Vihar, Ghaziabad. The Tribunal formed a committee comprising of (i) Central Pollution Control Board (ii) TheDistrict Magistrate, Ghaziabad, (iii) The Uttar Pradesh State Pollution Control Board, (iv) Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) and (v) State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), Uttar Pradesh for a factual and action taken action report.

The order was passed in a petition filed by Rajpal Singh Khandari, a local resident and was represented by Advocate Kanika Sood. The petition was filed stating that the project Prateek Grand City (a mega housing project) coming up at SidhharthVihar, Ghaziabad was extracting groundwater illegally through borewells for construction of the project in Ghaziabad which is a ‘critical area’ where no groundwater extraction is allowed except for the purpose of drinking water. The Petition further stated that the NGT had also passed an order on 20.07.2020, directing authorities to withdraw any general permissions granted for withdrawal of ground waterto any commercial entity without an environment impact assessment of the activity in light of the depleting groundwater levels in critically and over critically exploited areas. The extraction of groundwater is also in violation of the conditional environmental clearance granted for the project.

The NGT’s order has also referred to a representation sent by the Petitioner to District Magistrate of Ghaziabad District; the Member Secretary, Central Ground Water Authority and the Member Secretary, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board for urgent action, but no action was taken by the authorities.

The petition prays for all illegal borewells to be sealed and for payment of environmental compensation for damages and prosecution to be initiated against the violators as per the law.
The matter has now been listed on 16th October, 2020.

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