Groundwater users from across the country have yet again been warned of registering themselves for continued usage of the precious resource, sending many of the users into panic to know they have to pay Rs 10,000 for mere registration.
After more than a year-long exercise and regularly warning people about it, the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) - the nodal agency under the Ministry of Jal Shakti - had asked groundwater users to register online by June 30.
By way of a public notice, the CGWA had asked to all the ground water users, including drinking & domestic use for residential apartments/group housing societies/government water supply agencies in urban areas/bulk water supplier/industrial/ infrastructure/ mining projects/swimming pools - both existing and new - to apply for permission to withdraw ground water.
"We have given all existing users a one-time opportunity to register their ground water withdrawal by June 30, i.e. Wednesday with a one-time registration fee of Rs 10,000 for submission of the complete application before September 30," said an official from the Ministry.
This is applicable for 17 states and three UTs that are regulated by the CGWA. The Jal Shakti Ministry and its agencies, mainly the CGWB, have a number of times received brickbats in multiple cases in Supreme Court and the National Green Tribunal in view of the inaction for restricting ground water withdrawal.
Across India, the number of dark zones has been increasing wherein withdrawal of groundwater is way above the recharge levels. "There are clear guidelines as to who all need to register, who all need to pay etc., guided by the NGT directives," CGWA Member Secretary M.K. Agrawal said.
He also said that the common householder, be it rural or urban, are out of the purview and they need not panic.
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