Thursday March 21, 2019
Home India Groundwater i...

Groundwater is a common resource and it ought to be regulated: SC

0
//

supreme_court_scbaNew Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the center and the Delhi government asking as to why there should not be metering and pricing of the ground water which was being pumped out in huge quantities resulting in its depletion.

A bench of Justice T.S.Thakur, Justice V.Gopala Gowda and Justice R. Banumathi said that “groundwater is a common resource and it ought to be regulated. Use by one affects the other”.

The court gave the governments six weeks time to file their response.

Appearing for the petitioner Ramesh Ailawadi, counsel Prashant Bhushan told the court that the matter was of “enormous public importance since groundwater is wasted in huge quantities in the country, and that depletion of groundwater has reached alarming proportions”.

Ailawadi has challenged the April 22 dismissal of his PIL by the Delhi High Court. The PIL had raised the issue of “scandalous wastage, exploitation, and depletion of groundwater”.

He filed the instant special leave petition against the impugned judgment whereby his public interest litigation was dismissed in a summary manner without examination of the public interest issues raised in it.

The petitioner has raised the issue of complete inadequacy of the current system wherein the state has completely abdicated its responsibility of regulating the usage of this precious and valuable natural resource.

He has contended that it was in “complete violation of the public interest doctrine, and thus negating the rights of the people of this country under article 14 and 21 of the constitution of India.”

“The alarming depletion of groundwater is asking for urgent attention, where its highly inequitable use is causing its severe shortage, because of which millions of people have been deprived of its access. The future scenario is even grimmer as brought out in several official reports,” the petitioner said.

“Groundwater forms part of the various natural resources that have been imparted to us by the nature and the government is the guardian of such natural resources and therefore bears a heavy responsibility to lead the country in sustainable and equitable use of such resources.”

(IANS)

Next Story

Report Claims, As Many As 1 Billion Indians Live in Areas of Water Scarcity

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater -- 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater -- 12 per cent of the global total.

0
water
Global groundwater depletion - where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally - increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India's rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period. Pixabay

As many as one billion people in India live in areas of physical water scarcity, of which 600 million are in areas of high to extreme water stress, according to a new report.

Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid.

This number is expected to go up to five billion by 2050, said the report titled “Beneath the Surface: The State of the World’s Water 2019”, released to mark World Water Day on March 22.

water
Pure water droplet. Pixabay

Physical water scarcity is getting worse, exacerbated by growing demand on water resources and and by climate and population changes.

By 2040 it is predicted that 33 countries are likely to face extremely high water stress – including 15 in the Middle East, most of Northern Africa, Pakistan, Turkey, Afghanistan and Spain. Many – including India, China, Southern Africa, USA and Australia – will face high water stress.

water
Globally, close to four billion people live in water-scarce areas, where, for at least part of the year, demand exceeds supply, said the report by non-profit organisation WaterAid. Pixabay

Global groundwater depletion – where the amount of water taken from aquifers exceeds the amount that is restored naturally – increased by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2010, said the report, adding that India’s rate of groundwater depletion increased by 23 per cent during the same period.

Also Read: Beware! Sipping Hot Tea Raises Risk of Esophageal Cancer

The report also highlighted that India uses the largest amount of groundwater — 24 per cent of the global total and the country is the third largest exporter of groundwater — 12 per cent of the global total.

The WaterAid report warned that food and clothing imported by wealthy Western countries are making it harder for many poor and marginalised communities to get a daily clean water supply as high-income countries buy products with considerable “water footprints” – the amount of water used in production — from water-scarce countries. (IANS)