The National Green Tribunal today asked local commissioners, appointed by it to do surprise checks of illegal ground water extraction by builders in Delhi -NCR region, to submit their reports within two weeks.
“One local commissioner has filed his report. All the remaining local commissioners are directed to file their reports within two weeks. Put up for direction and hearing on August 7,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
The bench refrained from taking any “punitive action” against Station House Officer (SHO) of Noida Expressway Police Station for not complying with its directions to provide protection to the local commissioners while on such inspections, after he tendered an unconditional apology.
“PS Noida Expressway SHO Pankaj Pant has appeared in person in compliance with the notice issued by the tribunal. He has tendered an unconditional apology and submitted that no inconvenience will be caused to the local commissioner in future. Hence, the tribunal refrain itself from taking any action against the SHO,” the bench said.
The green panel also issued notice to one contractor firm after a local commissioner in his report claimed that the company’s project was found to be illegally extracting ground water at their construction site.
The direction of the tribunal came on a plea filed by one Vikrant Tongad alleging that real estate developers were extracting ground water in violation of its orders.
On the plea, the tribunal had earlier imposed a complete ban on the use of ground water by builders as well as water bottling plants.
The bench had passed the order after perusing the Central Ground Water Authority’s (CGWA) affidavit which had said that groundwater level in Noida was under “stress”.
Earlie, the NGT had appointed local commissioners and directed them to make surprise inspections of different construction project in Delhi-NCR and report if groundwater was being used.
The local commissioners were also given the task to find out the names of the owners of buildings or the person in- charge, and check the sources of water. They were also given liberty to take photographs of the sites.
The tribunal had also rapped the Noida and Greater Noida authorities for their failure to restrain builders from “extracting” ground water.