The National Green Tribunal has directed the Uttar Pradesh State Pollution Control Board (UPSPCB) to file a report in response to a petition filed by one Shailesh Singh, alleging ineffectiveness of existing mechanism by which the authority, gives or renews consent to operate to industries in 'Over-exploited', 'Critical' and 'Semi-critical' (OCS) areas, having potential for drawl of ground water.
As per the plea "The State PCB merely imposes a condition that such consent was subject to grant of NOC by the CGWA. Such a condition is misused for illegal extraction of ground water even without NOC on the plea that application for NOC has been made."
A bench led by Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said "It is well known that in OCS areas, such consent for commercial purpose cannot be given, in absence of ensuring replenishment of groundwater, this situation needs to be remedied."
The plea prays for directions to authorities to prevent damage to the environment, the UPPCB must invoke 'Precautionary' principle and not to grant or renew consent to operate to such industries, which may extract ground water, by a mechanical condition of NOC being later obtained from the CGWA. Either NOC should be available in advance or there should be clear possibility of such NOC being granted on account of availability of sufficient groundwater for extraction, which must be assessed in advance. The plea will be heard by the tribunal on March 13.
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