India: NGT Fines Noida Based Water Bottling Unit INR 10 Lakhs

In a recent order passed by the National Green Tribunal, Dr. Justice Jawed Rahim (Judicial Member) and Mr. Bikram Singh Sajwan (Expert Member) on February 15, 2017 ordered the Central Pollution Control Board (hereinafter referred to as "CPCB"), State Pollution Control Board (hereinafter referred to as "SPCB") and Central Ground Water Authority (hereinafter referred to as "CGWA") to conduct a Joint Inspection and ordered the Beltek Canadian Water Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as the "Respondent") to deposit a fine of INR 10 lakhs for extracting ground water without permission.

The CGWA has provided guidelines1 for evaluation of proposals/requests for the withdrawal of ground water. The guidelines focus on a specific part of ground water management viz. ensuring sustainability of ground water usage, both in terms of quantity & quality, and also focus on land based management of ground water resources. The guidelines have been developed taking into account the variations of availability of water in different climatic regions and diverse hydrogeological conditions in various states of the country.

Companies exploiting Ground water have to take into account the following guidelines as notified by the Central Ground Water Authority-Notified Area

These are areas notified by Central Ground Water Authority for the purpose of Regulation of Ground Water development through Public Notices. There are so far 162 areas which have been notified for the purpose of regulation of ground water development. In these areas permission to abstract ground water through any energized means will not be accorded for any purpose other than for extraction of drinking water. The permission would be granted by the Authorized Officer in consultation with the advisory committee constituted for this purpose.

Infrastructure projects are required to take No Objection Certificate (NOC) for construction of ground water abstraction structures/replacement of existing defunct well for drinking and domestic purpose only. This permission is to be granted in areas where a public water supply system does not exist.

Not Notified Areas

Industries/Infrastructure/Mining Projects

NOC for ground water withdrawal will be considered for Industries /Infrastructure / Mining projects as per the criteria given below.


Withdrawal permitted (% of proposed recharge)


NOC is required for ground water withdrawal subject to adoption of artificial recharge to ground water.

Semi critical

Withdrawal may be permitted subject to undertaking of ground water recharge measures. The withdrawal should not exceed 200% of the recharged quantity.


Withdrawal may be permitted subject to undertaking of ground water recharge measures. The withdrawal should not exceed 100% of the recharged quantity.


Withdrawal may be permitted subject to undertaking of ground water recharge measures. The withdrawal should not exceed 50% of the recharged quantity

Water Intensive Industries

Industries using ground water as raw material or water intensive industries shall not be granted NOC for ground water withdrawal in Over-Exploited areas. Safe, Semi-Critical & Critical areas NOC for ground water withdrawal is mandatory for these industries. However, ground water withdrawal will be limited as follows:


Withdrawal permitted (% of proposed recharge)


Withdrawal limited to 200% of ground water recharge.

Semi- Critical

Withdrawal limited to 100% of ground water recharge.


Withdrawal limited to 50% of ground water recharge.

Over- Exploited

No permission for Industries under this category.

Infrastructure Projects

1. The quantum of ground water for usage other than drinking or domestic shall not exceed 25% of total ground water abstraction in case of Housing projects or Residential Townships.

2. Proponents are required to submit a status report stating the quantum of water required and the quantity that would be provided by the Government Water Supplying agency. This should be supported by a letter from the agency.

The complete Guidelines/Criteria for evaluation of proposals/requests for ground water abstraction are available here.

Facts of the Case

Shailesh Singh, a well-known Environmental Activist (hereinafter referred to as the "Applicant") through application to the National Green Tribunal alleged that the Respondent has been operating a water bottle unit (hereinafter referred to as the "said unit") which was extracting ground water through bore well installed in the factory premises without the permission of the CGWA and has been discharging untreated effluents into the river. The Inspection Report submitted by CGWA to the Tribunal stated that the said unit had been flouting and extracting water without installation of meter to the respective bore wells.

Applicants Submission:

1. The Applicant contended that that the Respondent has been utilizing the ground water and exploited it for its commercial benefit since 2009 and the said unit has been discharging untreated effluent contents into the river causing adverse impact on environment.

Respondent's Submission:

1. The Respondent contended that the said the unit was not actually collecting the water, processing it and bottling it but was selling it after having it packaged.

2. The Respondent denied the Inspection Report of the CGWA and submitted that one bore well was no longer in use and was shut down while another bore well was kept on standby.

3. The Respondent further contended that they had complied with all the observations in the Inspection report of the SPCB, installed meters to all the bore wells and rectified the deficiencies pointed in the Report.

4. The Respondent submitted that the said unit was a small unit and had very limited financial resources. It was argued that restraining or shutting down the said unit would be harsh and severe to the interest of the Respondent.

Decision of the Tribunal:

The Tribunal issued the following orders-

1. CPCB, SPCB and CGWA were directed to conduct a Joint Inspection, record the extent of utilization of ground water through bore wells which were installed in the said unit and file their report within a period of 2 weeks from this order.

2. Cost of the inspection was to be borne by the Respondent.

3. The Respondent was directed to deposit a sum of10 lakh INR within one week of this order with the CGWA, subject to determination of the amount of environmental compensation, if any on final adjudication. The said amount was deposited by the Respondent on February 21, 2017.

The Tribunal permitted the Respondent to use one bore well out of three bore wells and the remaining two bore wells were ordered to be sealed as no permission for their use had been granted by CGWA.



The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions