New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal today directed the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) and the Uttar Pradesh government to seal all illegal industrial borewells in the Ghaziabad district.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked CGWA and the District Magistrate of Ghaziabad to check illegal extraction of groundwater in compliance with an order passed in April 2015.

“We direct CGWA and DM of Ghaziabad to seal all illegal industrial borewells unless and until they are running with permission from competent authorities,” the bench, also comprising Justice Jawad Rahim, said.

The green panel directed CGWA to file a detailed compliance report on the issue within a week.

The tribunal had earlier said that people who depend on borewells for drinking water and do not have alternative sources of supply, need to obtain permission from the CGWA.

The NGT had directed the sealing of borewells run by industries, private individuals, builders or water tanker operators in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad and Hapur districts.

However, the green panel had later clarified that it did not intend to affect the lives of the local residents who depend on groundwater for survival and asked all domestic consumers to apply for permission.

The NGT had also directed CGWA to submit a detailed report on industries in Ghaziabad and Hapur districts after a plea alleged that incessant extraction of groundwater has resulted in depletion of the water table.

The NGT was hearing a plea by Ghaziabad resident Sushil Raghav and NGO Society for Protection of Environment and Biodiversity seeking closure of all industrial units extracting groundwater illegally in notified areas of Ghaziabad and Hapur.

PTI