In Court

Published: Monday 30 June 2008

Gurgaon's water crisis: The Supreme Court on May 27 sought the environment ministry's and the Haryana government's response on a petition seeking ban on commercial and industrial activities in Gurgaon because these had led to a drinking water crisis. The petition, filed by resident welfare associations and the Citizen's Council of Gurgaon, an NGO, said industrial and commercial units operating illegally were depleting the groundwater table and polluting the environment. The groundwater table is sinking at 3 m per year; in 2004, it was 311 per cent overexploited. The petition blames it on the city's "unsustainable development" and overdependence on groundwater. In addition to 9,140 registered borewells, Gurgaon has over 18,000 borewells, mostly illegal, claims the petition. It alleged that Haryana has approved 52 SEZs based on false water data and asked the court to appoint a committee to look into all clearances granted after 2000. It has also urged for a stay on clearances to all future commercial developments in Gurgaon until the residents are ensured adequate water and electricity supply.

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