NGT seeks report on plea alleging illegal extraction of groundwater by Noida Golf Course

NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday directed a committee to submit report on a plea alleging illegal extraction of groundwater by the Noida Golf Course without requisite permission from the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA). A bench headed by NGT chairperson justice Adarsh Kumar Goel constituted a committee comprising the Noida district magistrate and representatives from the Central Pollution Control Board, UP Pollution Control Board and the Central Ground Water Authority. The green panel directed the committee to submit report before March 13, the next date of hearing. The tribunal’s order came on a plea field by environment activist Vikrant Tongad alleging illegal extraction of groundwater without requisite permission by the Noida Golf Course in Sector 38 in Gautam Buddh Nagar. “The extraction of groundwater by the Noida Golf Course, is happening in an area which has been identified as an over-exploited region for groundwater, by the CGWA. The extraction of groundwater by the Noida Golf Course is in violation of the guidelines issued by the CGWA in 2015,” the plea, filed through advocates Ritwick Dutta and Rahul Choudhary, stated. According to the plea, the Noida Golf course is using borewells as per the information provided on its website. “The borewells are being operated by the Golf Course and the water is entirely being used by the Noida Golf Course. The water is used for maintaining the facility, including the lakes and huge lawns in the premise of the facility,” the plea added. Tongad referred to a report published by the Central Ground Water Board titled “Aquifer Mapping and Ground Water Management Plan-parts of NCR and Uttar Pradesh” and said Noida has been notified as an over-exploited region due to the fast depleting groundwater levels. “The applicant had written a complaint letter dated June 20, 2019 to the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority about the illegal extraction of groundwater by the Noida Golf Course, without a NOC from the CGWA. The New Okhla Industrial Development Authority in response to the complaint by the applicant sent a notice to the Noida Golf Course to conduct a joint inspection. It is submitted that till date, no action has been taken by the New Okhla Industrial Development Authority after issuing the notice to the Noida Golf Course,” the plea stated. It said the Noida Authority has made all the necessary infrastructure arrangements to provide treated sewage treatment plant water, through a pipe to the Noida Golf Course and pipe for supplying treated STP water has been laid down till the boundary of the Noida Golf Course by the Noida Authority. Despite the availability of treated STP water, Golf Course at Noida continues to extract groundwater without a valid no objection certificate from the CGWA, the plea stated, seeking action against the violator.

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