The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had directed sealing of all illegal borewells — and also borewells that supplied water unfit for consumption. The DJB thus, on April 14, carried out a sealing drive in Sector 9, drawing the ire of the residents.
The resultant water crisis in the sector has led residents to join hands with Federation of Cooperative Group Housing Societies Dwarka (FCGHS) and Federation of RWAs of Sector 9 (FORWAS). The residents will now jointly seek legal redressal of the crisis.
President of FORWAS and also president of Ganpati Apartments in Sector 9, Advocate KS Bhati, said to City Spidey, “During an emergency meeting convened by FORWAS and supported by FCGHS, Dwarkites decided to fight the issue legally. The sealing was done without prior notice in flagrant violation of the principle of ‘natural justice’. You can’t carry out anti-people drives in the name of NGT.”
According to the RWAs and managements of various CGHS, Dwarka is heavily dependent on borewells to meet their water requirements, as DJB supply is not enough. So, given the circumstances, such a drastic measure should have come with alternative arrangements by the DJB.
City Spidey got in touch with a DJB official. Requesting anonymity, he said, “The sealing is being carried on the orders of NGT. The DJB has also been directed to submit a list of tubewells, borewells and wells — legal or not — in areas reported to have high levels of groundwater contamination. So, even legal tubewells and borewells are being checked for contamination and would be marked red if the water is found unfit for consumption. On April 27, there’s a hearing with the NGT, and we need to submit our report.”
Advocate Bhati explained why people are opposing the move. “As per details circulated by the SDMC, the sealing was to happen first in commercial areas, followed by institutional areas and, lastly, in residential areas. But the sealing squad suddenly descended on Sector 9 without any notice. Are they done with commercial and institutional areas? This move is simply meant to produce some figures for the hearing on April 27.”
Such a measure, according to Advocate Bhati, amounted to state’s contemptuous infringement of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution. And FORWAS, too, will approach the NGT.
People are demanding the sealing in residential areas to happen in the last phase, so DJB has till then to figure out a way to provide enough supply to the societies.
General secretary FCGHS (Dwarka), Sudha Sinha, said, “We have our rights to drinking water. We thus joined hands with FORWAS, and will jointly fight the issue in the court.We will continue our efforts till the DJB does not fill the gap in supply. It will have to ensure sufficient supply in societies where borewells have been — or will be — sealed.”
“In Sector 9, there are 17 CGHS — other than a couple of societies the rest are facing tremendous hardships. This sudden and complete sealing is not justified! In the least, they should have given us more time,” complained FORWAS general secretary, MK Singh.