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Use of Groundwater for Cleaning Trains: NGT Notice to Railways

The plea, filed by advocate Antima A Bazaz, has sought directions to Railways to install rainwater harvesting systems in all its 73 divisions across 16 zones.

Published: 31st March 2016 04:10 PM  |   Last Updated: 31st March 2016 05:15 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Massive extraction of groundwater by Railways to clean train coaches and platforms has caught the attention of National Green Tribunal, which today asked the national transporter to respond to a plea alleging this was being done "indiscriminately and illegally".

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar issued notices to the Ministries of Railways and Environment and Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) and sought their reply within two weeks after a plea alleged that the state-run behemoth was illegally extracting ground water without permission from concerned authorities.

The directions came on a plea filed by NGO Society for Protection of Environment and Biodiversity and Ghaziabad resident Sushil Raghav seeking directions to stop "indiscriminate withdrawal" of groundwater.

It has alleged that in the last decade, the Railways has sought only three NOCs from CGWA for withdrawal of groundwater "while it is indiscriminately and illegally extracting groundwater for all other purposes, across its set-ups, including its staff residential quarters." 

The plea, filed by advocate Antima A Bazaz, has sought directions to Railways to install rainwater harvesting systems in all its 73 divisions across 16 zones.

"The present application raises the issue of illegal and indiscriminate withdrawal of ground water by the Railways for commercial and industrial uses in the notified as well as the non-notified areas (over-exploited, critical and semi-critical areas) without seeking prior permission from CGWA.

"Railways has also failed to comply with the directions of the CGWA, issued under the Environment Protection Act 1986, making it mandatory for all Industrial Establishments falling in the Over-Exploited and Critical Areas to adopt Rooftop Rain Water Harvesting Systems in their premise," the plea said.

It has also sought directions to Railways to recycle water in its establishments and install Sewage Treatment Plants in its premises and Effluent Treatment Plants in its industrial complexes.



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