A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel passed the order after Delhi Jal Board (DJB) informed it that permission for extraction of groundwater cannot be granted to industries and commercial organisations due to serious depletion of water levels in the area.
"In view of above, it will be in the interest of the environment that ground water is not allowed to be extracted till there is an improvement in the situation. Accordingly, we direct that no groundwater be allowed to be extracted till further orders," the bench said.
The green panel also noted the affidavit filed by DJB which said that if "commercial establishments like malls need groundwater, then the competent authority should make them part of water supply chain with the condition of installation of water meters, ground water usage charges as prescribed by the competent authority".
The matter is now listed for next hearing on July 30.
The tribunal had earlier directed the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) to inform the DJB about the latest groundwater data in the national capital.
Earlier, the tribunal had directed the secretary concerned of the Delhi government, CEO of the DJB and managing director of the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd to hold a meeting on the issue of extraction of water by industries in Narela and Bawana.
The NGT had taken exception to the "abuse" of its interim order by the Delhi government to allow borewells in these industrial areas.
The green panel had in 2014 set up committees comprising officials of the DJB, the CGWA, the city government and other bodies to seal the illegal borewells in these industrial areas and file a comprehensive report.
It had also ordered the committees to prepare a comprehensive report on how many borewells were operating in the industrial pockets, including Bawana and Narela, and whether they had permission from the competent authority or were registered with the Delhi administration.
Taking serious note of the "water scarcity" in Delhi, the tribunal had pulled up the authorities for failing to perform their statutory administrative obligation in ensuring adequate water supply.
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