‘Cancel borewells of those without rain harvesting systems’
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A Division Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna highlighted the importance of supplying water equitably to residents and noted that whosoever fails to comply with the condition of installing a rainwater harvesting system while obtaining the permission to dig borewells must be brought to book and their sanctions immediately withdrawn. "Water is the basic necessity for the survival of a human being and its supply to people has to be construed as a human right provided to them under Article 21 (Right to life) of the Constitution," the Bench noted while deciding on a PIL that sought halting of construction activities in community groundwater recharge areas of the Capital.
Accepting the submissions of Standing Counsel for the State government Najmi Waziri, the Bench referred to a notification brought out by the Delhi Government after due sanctions from the Ministry of Environment and Forest and endorsement by the Lieutenant-Governor.
Elaborating on the latest rules in this regard, Waziri told the Bench that the "advisory committees" — so constituted under the said notification in Delhi's nine districts — have been according permission for drawing groundwater to individuals and groups for residential and commercial purposes only, with the essential condition that they install rainwater harvesting systems.
"The Delhi Jal Board (DJB), which supplies water to most of the Capital, and the NDMC have been made 'competent authorities' that would act in consonance with dictates of the advisory committees," Waziri read out from the government's affidavit, adding that the new policy will take care of all local issues and create a body dedicated to monitoring and checking the mindless extraction of groundwater.
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