Telangana Government drops water bomb
- Drawal of excess groundwater to attract charges
- Big housing societies, industrial units to be hit most
- Packaged water, tanker suppliers to pay abstraction charges
Hyderabad: Soon people may have to pay hefty charges if they utilise more water than what is prescribed by the government.
According to officials, any housing society uses more than 25 cubic metres of groundwater per month, there will be abstraction charge at the rate of Re 1 per cubic metre for groundwater up to 50 cubic metres per month and Rs 2 per cubic metre for over 50 cubic metres per month.
The major industrial units would also have to pay up to Rs 20 per litre in case the water extraction crosses the prescribed limits set by the government. Similarly, packaged drinking water suppliers and bulk water suppliers who supply water through tankers would also have to pay abstraction charges depending on the quantum of water they draw and the location of the unit.
The bulk water supply agencies will have to pay Rs 12 per cubic metre in Medak district, while the cost would be Rs 120 per cubic metre in prime locations of Greater Hyderabad, which have been categorized as critical zones.
Officials said the assessment of groundwater utilisation has begun in Sangareddy district and it has already been kept under investigation to assess the drawal of groundwater daily. Once the digital flow meters are installed, the authorities would start collecting fine for extracting excess groundwater every month. Notices have been served on 200 industries in Sangareddy district to install the meters.
It is also mandatory for all new and existing industries and big apartments to install flow meters and obtain No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the State Groundwater Authority once every two and five years, respectively. Non-compliance of NOC guidelines will draw a penalty between Rs 50,000 and Rs 10,00,000, depending on the nature of violation.
A senior official of the Telangana Groundwater Department told The Hans India that this was being done in tune with the amendment of the Central Groundwater Act (CGWA) guidelines under which it would become mandatory for the industries and gated communities to install flow meters.
The Groundwater department will take up a survey to identify safe, semi critical and critical areas before enforcing the Groundwater Act. Since the State has been given the freedom, a few modifications in the Central Act would be made before the Act is implemented across the State, sources said.