unacadem 15th January 2019 Important Editorial Discussion(It's Time to Tax Groundwater Use) Presented By: Prabhakar Jha
NGT has stayed notification on groundwater terming the above notification issued by the Union Water Resources Ministry on the extraction of groundwater, as "unsustainable", the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the Centre to "not give effect" to it as it had "serious shortcomings." Rather than laying down stricter norms for extraction of groundwater for commercial purposes and putting in place a robust institutional mechanism for surveillance and monitoring, extraction of groundwater has been liberalized adding to the crisis, unmindful of the ground situation and likely impact it will have on the environment. The so-called regulation is illusory. The so-called conditions are incapable of meaningful monitoring as shown by past experience also. There is also no check on injection of pollutants in the groundwater in the impugned notification The fee virtually gives license to harness groundwater to any extent The NGT directed the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to constitute a committee to examine "the issue of an appropriate policy for conservation of groundwater
At a time when close to 32 % of the blocks have been classified as semi-critical or over-exploited by the Central Groundwater Board (CGWB), WCF is definitely a watershed moment in the groundwater sector. Why this Fee is Need of the Hour? Over the past three decades, groundwater has become the main source of irrigation and now accounts for over 65 % of the irrigated area in India. The World Bank's report on Deep Wells and Prudence: Towards Pragmatic Action for Addressing Groundwater Exploitation in India (2010)
Status of Groundwater Depletion India is the world's largest user of groundwater The 5th Census of Minor Irrigation (2017) . Besides, the Standing Committee of Water Resources in its 23rd report on Socio-Economic Impact of Commercial Exploitation of Water by Industries (2017-18) According to a latest survey by the Central Groundwater Board (CGWB), Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka are in a worse state as far as groundwater decline is concerned It is estimated that as much as 50 lakh litres of groundwater is extracted illegally on a daily basis by tanker mafia in most metropolitan cities. The NITI Aayog's water report has warned that if the situation persists, there will be a six% loss in the country's GDP by 2050.
GS And GA faculty @ Mahendra's Coaching Institute. Teaching Polity, and international relations for 7 years