New Delhi: A Committee headed by a former high court judge has suggested to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that Rs. 5 lakh fine be imposed on schools and colleges where rain water harvesting systems (RWHS) are not functional. The committee headed by Justice (retd) S P Garg told a bench of NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel that there are 6,761 systems in the Municipal Corporations of south, north, east and the New Delhi, Delhi Cantonment Board (DCB), Education Department, Kendriya Vidhayalas, IIT-Delhi and Delhi Higher Education Institutions as per the status report filed on November 20, 2018.
“However, there were many areas where there are no such harvesting systems or such systems are not functioning. A list of schools and colleges where either RWHS were inadequate or non-functioning has been compiled. Delhi Jal Board (DJB) was required to verify whether the industries getting a rebate in the name of RWHS had actually installed such RWHS.
The Committee also visited certain educational institutions and suggested the steps to be taken in the matter of making RWHS functional. The Committee decided to visit other institutions and also to create awareness among the student community, it said.
Besides, it told the tribunal that it considered the issue of recycling of water for which revised guidelines had been issued.
The Niti Aayog had warned against over-exploitation of groundwater. Unless it is checked, the groundwater may be exhausted by 2020 as in more than 15 per cent of the Delhi areas, the groundwater was below 40 meters, it said.
The committee, which also comprises one representative each from the Delhi Jal Board, Central Pollution Control Board, Central Ground Water Authority and Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) concerned, said a list of 201 water bodies was given to it by the Delhi Jal Board. One of the water bodies at which sufficient progress had been achieved was at Rajokri. However, the water samples at the said water body were not as per prescribed standards, it said. It told the tribunal that water bodies at Dwarka and nearby areas also needed improvement.
“The committee also considered the issue of encroachments and suggested that out of 155 water bodies which were encroached, 50 water bodies may be identified in the first phase for removing the encroachments. Accordingly, 51 such water bodies were identified in different parts of Delhi. “The said water bodies were under Delhi government/Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd, except four water bodies which are under Delhi Development Authority (DDA). The Committee fixed the timeline of nine months to achieve the goal of making the water bodies encroachment free,” the committee told the NGT.
The NGT had earlier directed the Delhi government to act against unauthorised water extraction in the national capital. The appalling picture of water supply in the capital had prompted the tribunal to seek the response of the city government in the matter after taking suo motu cognisance of a media report that said “stinking and dirty” water was flowing through water supply lines and borewells were pumping out contaminated water.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.