Builders can't exploit groundwater, says HC

Builders can't exploit groundwater, says HC

Taking a serious view of exploitation of groundwater in Gurgaon, Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday barred issuance of any fresh license for construction activity unless builders give an undertaking that ground water would not be drawn by them.

The court asked the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to ensure that the undertaking by the builder or individuals should make clear the source of water drawn by them for construction purposes in Gurgaon — Delhi’s satellite city which has become base of several MNCs over the years.

The division bench of Acting Chief Justice Jasbir Singh and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain asked the state officials to give details of how many water connections have been released till now by the authorities and how they intend to deal with the problem in Gurgaon.

It also asked for details of the total water connections in Gurgaon and its actual requirement. The court has directed among others the secretaries of town and country planning, Gurgaon deputy commissioner, the public health department, HUDA chief to remain present in the court on July 31.

The bench gave the order on a bunch of petitions filed by Qutub Enclave Residents Welfare Association and other petitioners who alleged that the builders in Gurgaon had been extracting ground water using borewells for construction purposes while authorities had curtailed supply of drinking water in many areas causing agony to the common citizens.

The petitioners had urged the court to pass orders restraining construction and other commercial actvities around Gurgaon in view of the severe water shortage faced by the residents.

They had submitted that water situation in Gurgaon, which falls in the NCR region and has witnessed several mega commercial and residential projects come up over the past few years, has been worsening over the years.

A ban is already in place for boring tubewells in Gurgaon in the wake of low water table. The water table has also fallen to alarming levels in Gurgaon’s adjoining areas of Rewari and Mahendergarh.

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