About 246 Paharganj hotels illegally extracting water: Committee, ET RealEstate

September 4, 2023

NEW DELHI: A joint committee, which was constituted by National Green Tribunal, has found that 246 hotels or guest houses in Paharganj are illegally extracting the groundwater.

“A joint inspection of the site was carried out by the representatives of Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), Delhi Jal Board and Municipal Corporation of Delhi. Out of 536 hotels or guest houses, 296 have been inspected and 246 hotels or guest houses were found extracting the groundwater illegally,” said the DPCC report, which was submitted to NGT. The report added that DPCC needs two months to complete survey of remaining hotels.

Drawing groundwater through borewell or tube well for domestic, commercial, agricultural or industrial uses without the prior permission of the “competent authority” will be considered illegal and without authority of law.

“The hotel owners have to obtain either DJB connection or permission of borewell from district magistrate, failing which illegal borewells should be closed by district magistrate or DJB. The hotel owners cannot run borewells illegally. DJB should provide water supply as required and DM should consider giving the permission for borewells as per norms if the water table is satisfactory in the areas,” added the report.

The report stated that the water table of different locations was given by CGWA in which no data specifically for Paharganj was mentioned. “However, the nearby locations seem to be Patel Nagar with 30.16 metres, Birla Mandir with 10.05 meters and Chandni Chowk with 6.81 meters below ground Level,” said the DPCC report.

NGT in April had constituted a joint committee to take remedial action against over 500 hotels in Paharganj for illegal extraction of groundwater. DPCC had issued closure notices to these hotels in 2021 but petitioner Varun Gulati informed the tribunal that notices were withdrawn last year.

“Illegalities have been allowed to continue to the detriment of environment and the rule of law. The SDM and DPCC issued show-cause notice dated August 4, 2021 to 536 hotels and other such establishments for violations. 206 hotels replied. Closure order was passed against 330 hotels. However, notices were withdrawn and not acted upon in breach of rule of law and environmental norms. Clear violation is allowed to continue which needs to be remedied,” said the petitioner in NGT. The tribunal had then constituted a joint committee to take remedial action against over 500 hotels in Paharganj for illegal extraction of groundwater.

  • Published On Sep 4, 2023 at 12:00 PM IST

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