DAINIK NATION BUREAU
The Central Grounder Water Authority (CGWA) has sent Draft guidelines for “issuance of NOC” for ground water withdrawal and draft “Public Notice” to the Chief Secretaries of all the State and Administrators of Union Territories for their comments within 60 days.
Due to the increasing number of litigations in the National Green Tribunal, various branches of Tribunal are directing CGWA to ensure that the ground water withdrawal should be in accordance with law. These guidelines will ensure an uniform regulatory framework across the country so that the discriminatory practices in regulation are either mitigated or minimized.
The major revisions in the guidelines are pan India coverage, decentralization of the No Objection Certificate (NOC) issuing authorities, based on the quantum of ground water extraction viz. revenue heads of the district, State Nodal Agency / State Ground Water Authority and CGWA, dispensing with the provisions relating to submission of artificial recharge proposals and construction of artificial recharge structures by project proponents, introduction of a water conservation fee in lieu of recharge mechanism; funds raised through the water conservation fee to be used by States for effective ground water management etc.
The CGWA constituted by Government of India under Section 3(3) of the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986 has been regulating ground water development and management in the country. The authority has been granting NOC for withdrawal of ground water by industries/infrastructure/mining projects.
The entire draft guidelines are available on the website of CGWB and in the NOCAP (www.cgwb.gov.in, www.cgwa-noc.gov.in) for the information of the public/stakeholders state governments.