RTI impact - Petition on depleting levels of groundwater filed
Relying on the data obtained through applications filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, environmentalist Vikrant Tongad has filed a petition with the National Green Tribunal on alleging rapid depletion of groundwater levels in Gautam Budh Nagar by large-scale construction and industrial activities such as packaged drinking water plants.
The information collected from the UP Groundwater Department has shown that between the years 2006 and 2011, the groundwater level in Greater Noida has gone down at the rate of 20 cm per year, while the depletion has been at the rate of 70 cm annually in Noida. The Jamia Millia University had also written to Noida Authority expressing concerns about the frightening rates of decline of groundwater levels. At the time of commissioning of Noida, water level was found in the range of 10 feet to 19 feet while it has gone down to 70 feet to 123 feet now.
The petitioner has sought for the proper development and implementation of groundwater recharge projects as per the National Water Policy and to ensure that the exploitation of groundwater resources should not exceed the recharging. The petition has also demanded penal action against those who are found violating the guidelines of the National Water Policy, 2002 and the Central Groundwater Authority in overexploiting the resource.