Cgwa Recommends 230cr Fine On 30 Builders For Groundwater Misuse, ET RealEstate

July 5, 2023

NOIDA: The Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) has recommended a fine of Rs 230 crore on 30 developers in Greater Noida West, also known as Noida Extension, for illegally extracting groundwater in a case that is being heard by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

In May, a joint committee of the Central Pollution Control Board, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board and the district administration, formed on the direction of the NGT, had levied an interim compensation of Rs 76 crore on 38 defaulting builders for illegally extracting groundwater through borewells.

The tribunal, however, set up a second committee comprising the CGWB, district administration and UPPCB to determine the final compensation amount. The CGWB, which submitted its report to the panel on Monday, recommended a total of Rs 230 crore fine on 30 of these developers.

According to officials, the district-level joint committee was set up in July in response to a petition by two environmentalists in June last year alleging that 63 residential projects in Greater Noida and Greater Noida West were extracting groundwater illegally.

The committee screened all the projects in two phases and found borewells at 41 projects. Three of these 41 projects had permission to use groundwater, but the remaining 38 did not. Subsequently, the UPPCB sent notices to 38 builders asking them to deposit 0.5% of the project cost as environmental compensation but received no response. The board then issued notices asking the builders to pay a Rs 76.5 crore fine within 15 days.

On Tuesday, UPPCB’s regional officer Radhe Shyam said the final compensation amount has been recommended by the CGWA to the NGT panel. “On Wednesday, there will be a committee meeting headed by the additional district magistrate on the CGWA’s recommendation.”

The final compensation was calculated by the CGWA as per data provided by UPPCB and Greater Noida Authority pertaining to 41 defaulter projects.

According to the district groundwater department, GB Nagar falls under the ‘notified’ to ‘over-exploited’ zone in the groundwater depletion category.

Of its three blocks, two, including Bisrakh and Jewar, are in the over-exploited category while Dadri is semi-critical. In Greater Noida, the water table fell from 13.60 metres in 2021 to 13.79 in 2022.

While in Jewar, the water table fell from 8.52m in 2021 to 8.81m in 2022.

  • Published On Jul 5, 2023 at 08:58 AM IST

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