Punjab Haryana HC issues notice in case arguing ban on ground water use

Reported by Lalit Kumar lawetalnews.com on 17 Sep 2012
Law et al. News : Punjab Haryana HC issues notice in case arguing ban on ground water use
The High Court here has issued notice to the state of Punjab, Punjab Urban Development Authority (PUDA) and Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) in a PIL seeking ban on use of ground water for construction purposes in 18 blocks of Punjab. A division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court comprising Acting Chief Justice Jasbir Singh and Justice Rakesh Jain today, issued notices for October 3.

The PIL was filed by advocate HC Arora, seeking appropriate directions to all the deputy commissioners, municipal corporations and municipal councils, through the chief secretary, government of Punjab, for imposing ban on extraction of underground water for construction purposes and also for taking other measures, like “Rain Water Harvesting”.

The petitioner referred to various notifications issued by CGWA in December 1998, December 2006 and August 2011, declaring 18 blocks in Punjab as ‘Notified Areas’ and placing various restrictions, including restriction against extraction of groundwater for purpose of construction. The 18 blocks, which have been declared as ‘Notified Areas’ by CGWA are:- (i) Ludhiana City and Ludhiana district; (ii) Moga-I Block; (iii) Moga-II Block; (iv) Sangrur Block; (v) Mahal Kalan Block; (vi) Amedgarh Block; (vii) Nakodar block; (viii) Shahkot block; (ix) Lohian Block; (x) Pattran block; (xi) Phagwara block; (xii) Nihalsingwala block; (xiii) Dhuri Block; (xiv) Sunam Block; (xv) Barnala Block; (xvi) Sherpur Block; (xvii) Malerkota block and (xviii) Khanna Block.

The petitioner referred to the information received by him under RTI Act from municipal councils of Pattran, Nihalsingh Wala and Khanna cities, which fall under ‘Notified Areas’, wherein it has been stated that the notifications issued by CGWA have not been implemented within the areas of these municipal councils and that no restrictions have been placed against extraction of ground water for construction purpose. He also referred to reply received from CGWA, under RTI Act, admitting that CGWA is not aware as to whether its notifications regarding "notified areas" have been implemented in concerned blocks in the state of Punjab.