The National Green Tribunal on Wednesday directed the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to stop extraction of groundwater from borewells that are running illegally in the national capital.
The tribunal made it clear that the DMRC can only use water from those borewells for which it has permission.
A bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore passed the order after it was informed that the Delhi Metro had permission for only 164 borewells.
The green panel also directed the DMRC to seek permission for water extraction through borewells from the Central Ground Water Authority and inform it after getting the requisite approvals.
Advocate Kush Sharma, appearing for petitioner Kush Kalra, alleged that the DMRC has installed illegal borewells right under the nose of authorities, but no action has been taken till date.
Mr Kalra had alleged that the DMRC was extracting groundwater instead of using waste water to wash its trains, resulting in depletion of the water table.
It had contended that if any individual installs a borewell without permission in his house, authorities seal it in no time and slap a fine, but the DMRC has installed 276 borewells and no action has been taken till now.
Referring to a RTI reply, the plea had said DMRC's water requirement was met through borewells and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) connections.
It also said that in order to draw water from the borewells, three to five HP pumps were used.
"Groundwater after treatment as per requirement is used for train washing... Borewells have been provided in the depots from where water is sourced.
"Around 400 to 500 litres of groundwater is used for washing one metro train. The water, after washing of metro train, is sent to Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP). The treated water is then used for gardening and the excess sent to drains," the RTI reply had revealed.
Another RTI response received from the DJB said no permission had been granted to the DMRC for digging borewells.
In another such response, a list of metro stations that had been granted such permission was provided by the board to the DMRC, the plea had said, while referring to the contradiction between the responses.
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