Double standard of Pb. Govt on Ground Water and Paddy, NGT snapped notice
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NGT noticed on forming committee to vigil on Paddy sowing date and receding water levels, circled punjab government on Ground Water receding issue and its decision.

M4PNews|Chandigarh

National Green Tribunal have circled Punjab Government on its double standards as they have preponed the transplanting date of paddy sowing from 20 June to 13 June. That too when Punjab’s maximum area have declared to fall in dark zone in terms of receding Ground Water. NGT served notice on 4 July 2019 to Punjab Government to answer within a week.

Punjab is in dark zone in terms of Ground Water as our farmers have over exploited the ground water when it comes to paddy sowing. Considering the dark zone, Punjab Government had afforded to listen various farmers’ organisation on their complaint of high moisture level in the crop and surprisingly have preponed the date of transplanting of paddy from 20 June to 13 June. Punjab Government do have many agriculture scientist with them yet no advice being taken from before preponing the date of transplanting paddy crop.

Earlier in the month of June Punjab Government released notice saying that Paddy growers in Punjab can transplant their crop from June 13 instead of the earlier date of June 20. In a notification issued here, the government advanced paddy sowing date to June 13 following requests from various farmers’ organisations who had been complaining of high moisture level in the crop because of late sowing.

Acceding to the demand of farmers’ organizations, the state government, on the directive of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, has taken the decision to prepone the date of paddy transplantation from June 20 fixed last year to June 13 this year, an official release said.

An environment Lover Jai Gopal Dhiman filed a writ petition in NGT. NGT in its notice said, “The issue for consideration is whether preponing of date of transplantation of paddy crop from 20th June, 2019 to 13th June, 2019 in the State of Punjab will lead to further depletion of ground water level and not conducive to the environment.

The applicant has relied upon a report prepared by the Department of Water Resources and Central Ground Water Authority to the effect that 79% area of State of Punjab is over-exploited in respect of ground water. Depletion of ground water needs to be avoided. The Punjab Preservation of Subsoil Water Act, 2009 is aimed at preserving the ground water. The date of 20th June, 2019 was earlier fixed on recommendation of the State PCB and the Punjab Agriculture University and preponing thereof is not justified.

The issue raised will require examination in the light of an expert report. Accordingly, we constitute a committee comprising representatives of the Central Pollution Control Board, Punjab State PCB and a Scientist each named by the Punjab Agriculture University and the Haryana Agriculture University. The four member Committee may look into the matter and furnish its report within three months by email at judicial-ngt@gov.in. The nodal agency for compliance and coordination will be the Punjab State PCB.

A copy of this order be sent to the Central Pollution Control Board, Punjab State PCB, Punjab Agriculture University and Haryana Agriculture university by email.

The applicant may furnish a set of papers each to the Central Pollution Control Board, Punjab State PCB, Punjab Agriculture University and Haryana Agriculture University and file an affidavit of service within one week.

List the matter for further consideration on 07.11.2019.

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