NOC must for us­ing ground­wa­ter for in­fra projects

The New Indian Express - - INDIA - RICHA SHARMA

CON­CERNED over ex­ploita­tion of ground­wa­ter, the Union min­istry of en­vi­ron­ment and for­est has made it manda­tory for in­fra­struc­ture projects to seek ‘no ob­jec­tion’ cer­tifi­cate from the Cen­tral Ground Wa­ter Author­ity (CGWA) for us­ing ground­wa­ter for project ac­tiv­i­ties and state should re­frain from is­su­ing clear­ance to project in ab­sence of cer­tifi­cate.

The Min­istry of En­vi­ron­ment, For­est and Cli­mate Change (MoEFCC) in a Novem­ber 2 of­fi­cial or­der has de­cided to in­clude go ahead from the CGWA as part of the Terms of Ref­er­ence while pre­scrib­ing en­vi­ron­ment clear­ance to de­vel­op­ment projects.

“In the projects where ground­wa­ter is pro­posed as wa­ter source, the project pro­po­nent shall ap­ply to the Cen­tral Ground Wa­ter Author­ity (CGWA) or State Ground Wa­ter Author­ity (SGWA), for ob­tain­ing NoC, if ap­pli­ca­ble. The en­vi­ron­ment min­istry may en­sure that such an ap­pli­ca­tion has been made,” said the or­der.

It fur­ther says that ap­proval of the CGWA or state shall be ob­tained be­fore draw­ing ground­wa­ter for the project. The State Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Board shall not is­sue con­sent to Op­er­ate till the project pro­po­nent ob­tain such per­mis­sion. “The state pol­lu­tion con­trol board con­cerned shall not is­sue con­sent to op­er­ate till the project pro­po­nent ob­tain such per­mis­sion,” it added.

As per the cen­tral ground­wa­ter board as­sess­ment, the to­tal an­nual re­plen­ish­able ground­wa­ter re­source is around 433 Bil­lion Cu­bic Me­tres (BCM). The net an­nual ground­wa­ter avail­abil­ity is 398 BCM out of which an­nual ground­wa­ter util­i­sa­tion (draft) is es­ti­mated at 245 BCM and stage of ground­wa­ter ex­ploita­tion is 62 per cent.

Ex­perts feel that there is an ef­fort to en­sure that the is­sue of ground­wa­ter with­drawal is ad­dressed at the stage when Terms of Ref­er­ence is granted for the preparation of an EIA (en­vi­ron­ment im­pact as­sess­ment) but the chal­lenge con­tin­ues to be at the level of com­pli­ance.

“Projects of­ten ini­ti­ate con­struc­tion or op­er­a­tions with­out hav­ing nec­es­sary ap­provals for ground­wa­ter ex­trac­tion. The has been a reg­u­la­tory la­cu­nae and re­quires re­mind­ing project au­thor­i­ties of pro­ce­dures,” said Kanchi Kohli, le­gal re­search di­rec­tor, CPRNa­mati En­vi­ron­ment Jus­tice Pro­gram.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.