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NGT junks plea against illegal operation of water supply tankers in Delhi


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The National Green Tribunal Wednesday refused to entertain a plea highlighting the issue of illegal operation of water supply tankers in the city without being registered with the Delhi Jal Board and valid consent for extraction of ground water.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the petition lacks material and it simply alleges corruption is taking place without stating specific instances.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by environment activist Vikrant Tongad claiming that there has been an unprecedented increase in the number of water supply tankers operating in Delhi.
"While Delhi Jal Board sends around 900 water tankers everyday to supply water to households, there are more than twice as many private and unregistered water tankers that are traversing through the NCT of Delhi, where there is no level of regulation with regard to where they are sourcing their water from or to whom it is being supplied," it had said.
The plea had said that there is no check on the quality of the water being delivered for drinking purpose, which is a big risk to the lives of citizens.
"The increase in the number of private water tankers has given birth to a 'water tanker mafia', which has been responsible for drilling roughly over 2,00,000 borewells for the purpose of extracting ground water," it had said.
Referring to an RTI response, Tongad had said that there were a total of 163 government water tankers in the North West district out of which not a single water tanker has been registered.
"Additionally, in response to the RTI application, the status report of the registered water tankers in Delhi as on October 31, 2017 was submitted. It is pertinent to mention that out of the 120 water supply tankers mentioned, none of the tankers has a valid registration as is evident from the fact that none of these registrations has been renewed.
"It is clear from the responses to the RTI application that the water supply tankers that are being operated by the Delhi Jal Board are also not complying with the directions of the Lt. Governor to the extent of getting registered. If the authorities themselves are operating in violation of the directions, then how would the private water supply tankers comply with the said directions," the petition had said.
The petition had sought penal action and environmental compensation be imposed on all private water supply tankers that are extracting groundwater without valid no-objection certificate (NoC) from the competent authority.
It has also sought directions to the Deputy Commissioner (Revenue), Delhi and the Transport Department to take strict action against all water tankers in the city.

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First Published: Jul 31 2019 | 3:55 PM IST

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