NGT asks schools, colleges to install rainwater harvesting systems

RSTV Bureau

The National Green Tribunal bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar ordered Delhi government and private schools as well as colleges to install rainwater harvesting systems in their premises within two months at their own cost.

As per the order any institution that fails to install the rainwater harvesting system within the stipulated period shall be liable to pay environment compensation of Rs 5 lakh.

Students using handkerchiefs  to cover their face as smog covers the capital's skyline on Wednesday. Yesterday the air quality hit severe levels in New Delhi.

Students using handkerchiefs to cover their face as smog covers the capital’s skyline on Wednesday. Yesterday the air quality hit severe levels in New Delhi.

It has also directed schools and colleges to approach a committee constituted by it. The committee will inspect the premises and grant permission to institutions for operating the system.

Green Tribunal formed a committee, comprising senior officials from the education department of the Delhi government, Delhi Jal Board, Public Works Department, representative of Central Groundwater Authority and others to deal with the applications from schools and colleges.

“The committee shall meet twice a month and deal with the application of the schools and colleges expeditiously. Upon inspection, if it feels that there is no possibility of setting up such system, then the panel may issue exemption certificate,” the bench said.

File photo of Natioal Green Tribunal, Delhi.

File photo of Natioal Green Tribunal, Delhi.

According to the tribunal, the institution that gets an exemption certificate shall be subject to environment compensation, which will be used for setting up rainwater harvesting systems in possible nearby areas, including parks.

It has panel also directed the director of the Delhi education department and the Delhi Jal Board to issue notices to all such schools and colleges within three days from today.

The direction came while disposing of a plea filed by Mahesh Chandra Saxena, who claimed to be associated with an NGO working in the field of groundwater conservation.

He has claimed that government departments, educational institutions and residential societies have either not installed rainwater harvesting systems or have systems which are non-functional