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The National Green Tribunal today directed all Delhi government and private schools as well as colleges to install rainwater harvesting systems in their premises within two months at their own cost.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar ordered that any institution that fails to install the rainwater harvesting system within the stipulated period shall be liable to pay environment compensation of Rs 5 lakh.
The tribunal directed schools and colleges to approach a committee constituted by it. The committee will inspect the premises and grant permission to institutions for operating the system.
The committee, comprising senior officials from the education department of the Delhi government, Delhi Jal Board, Public Works Department, representative of Central Groundwater Authority and others, was formed and asked to deal with the applications from schools and colleges.
"The committee shall meet twice a month and deal with the application of the schools and colleges expeditiously," the bench said.
If it is not possible to install a rainwater harvesting system, the institution should approach the committee within a week from today. The committee will then inspect the premises.
"Upon inspection, if it feels that there is no possibility of setting up such system, then the panel may issue exemption certificate," the bench said.
According to the tribunal, the institution that gets an exemption certificate shall be subject to environment compensation, which will be used for setting up rainwater harvesting systems in possible nearby areas, including parks.
The green panel also directed the director of the Delhi education department and the Delhi Jal Board to issue notices to all such schools and colleges within three days from today.
The direction came while disposing of a plea filed by Mahesh Chandra Saxena, who claimed to be associated with an NGO working in the field of groundwater conservation.
He has claimed that government departments, educational institutions and residential societies have either not installed rainwater harvesting systems or have systems which are non-functional.