Srinagar, Dec 27: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has found that industrial units in Jammu & Kashmir were extracting ground water without any authorization.
In its report on “ground water management and regulation”, the CAG has pointed out that out of 75 water intensive industrial units’ registered between 2013-18, 73 had not obtained NOC from the competent authority and were extracting ground water without any authorisation.
“Out of 22,474 industrial units registered during 2013-18 with Jammu and Kashmir State Pollution Control Board (JKSPCB), 75 units were water intensive. However, while granting Consent To Operate(CTO) to these 75 units, JKSPCB did not impose any condition for obtaining NOC for ground water abstraction. Audit noticed that 73 out of these 75 water intensive units had not obtained NOC from the competent authority and were extracting ground water without any authorisation,” reads the report.
The audit noticed from the information provided by the State Excise and Industries Departments that 7840 industrial units had installed 92 bore/ tube wells for extracting ground water without obtaining licenses.
The auditor also noticed that State Industrial Development Corporation (SIDCO) Samba and Bari Brahmana, Jammu granted permission to 128 industrial units to install 138 bore wells within their premises.
“Of the 128 industrial units, only five units had obtained NOC from the authority designated under the JKWRRM Act 2010 for installation of six bore wells. The remaining 123 units were operating 132 bore wells without valid NOCs,” reads the report.
The CAG has slammed the Public Health Engineering Department (PHED), for not initiating any action to identify the commercial establishments involved in illegal extraction of ground water and enforce provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Water Resources (Regulation and Management) Act (JKWRRM) 2010.
As per provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir Water Resources (Regulation and Management) Act (JKWRRM) 2010, the licensing authority can exercise powers to take all steps necessary for the prevention of illegal use of water, including the power to break open the door of any premises where sinking of well or extraction of ground water may be going on.