NEW DELHI: Concerned over “violation” of its orders banning extraction of ground water in Noida and Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) today appointed local commissioners to inspect construction sites there.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar passed the order after it was informed that indiscriminate extraction of ground water by builders and developers is going on despite its orders.

“It has been pointed out that indiscriminate extraction of underground water is going on in violation of the orders of the NGT. It has also been reported in news media that officers of department concerned particularly Noida and Greater Noida Authority have expressed their inability to do anything in this regard and developers are not complying with the orders passed by us. This is complete violation of our orders.

“Before we take any action, we would appoint local commissioners to visit any building site of Noida and Greater Noida including Gautam Budh Nagar to find out if underground water is being extracted and pipe lines as reported have been laid for using the underground water. They would be at liberty to check source of water of each builder among others at sector 94,” the bench said and fixed the matter for August 22.

The local commissioners have been tasked with conducting the inspections without giving prior information and to find out the name of the owner of the building, person in-charge and would be at liberty to take photographs of the sites as well.

The issue was mentioned before the bench by advocate Ritwick Dutta, on behalf of environmentalist Vikrant Tongad on whose plea the tribunal had imposed a ban on use of ground water by builders as well as water bottling plants.

Referring to news reports which said that ground water is being extracted by builders in violation of not only the orders of the NGT but also the Supreme Court, Dutta contended that if such indiscriminate and high scale water extraction continues, water levels there are likely to be tremendously depleted and residents will be deprived of drinking water.