By LE Desk
New Delhi, April 20: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Ministry of Jal Shakti to consider the extent to which groundwater extraction can be permitted for swimming pools in water-deficit areas.
A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel referred to a previous order for the tribunal and observed, “Extraction of groundwater in water scarcity areas also affects the flow of rivers and potential for recharge of the groundwater sources. Thus, the supply and demand of groundwater were required to be balanced for sustainable development.”
“This requires mapping of all areas concerned to determine the extent to which extraction could be permitted and priority areas for which such extraction could be permitted,” the Bench observed while stating that drinking water was the first priority and that “reckless extraction” of groundwater to the determent of the environment could not be permitted, The Hindu reported.
In its order, the tribunal said, “The Ministry of Jal Shakti may consider the extent to which groundwater extraction can be allowed for swimming pools in water deficit areas, as per data available with it. The applicant is at liberty to make any further representation to the Ministry of Jal Shakti.”
The directions came when the green panel was hearing a plea moved by petitioner Neha Singh seeking action against “reckless extraction” of groundwater for commercial purposes, at the cost of causing further shortage of drinking water.