Punjab govt opens door for industry in water-stressed orange, yellow zones

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    Punjab govt opens door for industry in water-stressed orange, yellow zones

    Composed by Kanchan Vasdev
    | Chandigarh |

    November 13, 2020 3: 44: 17 am





    The highest groundwater charges apply to the orange zone, which is one of the most water stressed and the most affordable charges are in the green zone.

    Punjab is preparing to enable the industry, consisting of the water guzzling, in yellow and orange zones with its recently made up Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority (PWRDA) planning to impose Groundwater Extraction Charge on the systems. The charge varies from a minimum of Rs 4 per 1,000 litres in green zone for the volume as much as 10,000 litres daily to a maximum of Rs 22 per 1,000 litres in the orange zone for the volume going beyond 1 lakh litres daily.

    The PWRDA, has sought objections from the general public on the draft Punjab Groundwater Extraction and Conservation Guidelines 2020 under which the state body would permit establishing of industry in these areas. Earlier, the market needed permission from the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA), which had not enabled any industry in yellow and orange zones for last number of years.

    With the state government setting up its own authority now, its approval will be obligatory for drawing out groundwater by every user in Punjab for industrial and industrial functions. The Authority has excused extraction of groundwater for farming and associated activities and for drinking and domestic usage. The charges imposed on the industry will be based upon water meters to be installed by all users.

    The state has actually been divided into 3 zones according to exploitation of groundwater including green, yellow and orange. The greatest groundwater charges use to the orange zone, which is one of the most water stressed out and the least expensive charges remain in the green zone.

    Arunjit Singh Miglani, secretary PWRDA informed The Indian Express that the goal of the Authority was targeted at promoting positive water balance and ensuring requirements of livelihood by setting up the industry. A part of the groundwater charge will be used for executing water preservation schemes. In case users opt for implementing water preservation measures by themselves, then they will be qualified for a water conservation refund that will be minimized from the charges.

    ” The user will be asked to charge the ground water in various zones. He will be motivated not just to recharge the water in his premises but even beyond his industry. For example, we would like him to prevent farmers from sowing water drinker paddy and diversify to other crop. By doing this he will be incentivised.”

    The user can also get refund by supporting effective use of watering water, recharge of canal water, improvement of natural recharge through drains, stormwater harvesting in urban locations, and rejuvenation of ponds.

    Based on the standards, the authority has proposed to create 3 zones of assessment areas for accessibility of water in 138 blocks of the state based upon 2017 evaluation report of Central Ground Water Board (CGWB). According to the assessment report, as numerous as 29 obstructs classified as safe, semi-critical and important have actually all been clubbed in the green zone given that the stage of groundwater development was less than 100 per cent, indicating the water being drawn was less than the water being charged.

    The overexploited category, as per the 2017 report, has been bifurcated into 2 zones: The yellow zone includes 65 blocks with a stage of groundwater advancement in between 100 per cent and 200 percent, and the orange zone comprising 44 blocks with a stage of groundwater advancement of 200 percent or greater.

    Because the guidelines propose to achieve a positive water balance by saving more water than is extracted, all systems in yellow and orange Locations (consisting of new systems and growth cases) will likewise be supplied permission to extract ground water, and they will have greater targets for conserving water. These targets for water conservation can be fulfilled either by the unit’s own efforts or by paying the complete charge for groundwater extraction. In the latter case the water conservation activities will be executed by public firms designated by federal government.

    The charges will be Rs 8 per 1,000 litres of extraction upto 10,000 litres every day, Rs 18 for 10,000 to 1 lakh litres and Rs 22 for 1 lakh litre for market in orange zone. I yellow zone, these charges would be rs 6, 14 and18 In green zone these charges would be Rs 4, Rs 10 and Rs 15 respectively.

    If the industry has the ability to satisfy the target of water preservation, it would be offered a rebate of Rs 4, Rs 12 and Rs 14 for orange zone, Rs 3, Rs 10 and Rs 12 for yellow zone, and Rs 2, Rs 7 and Rs 10 for green zone.

    However, in case a system does not save water, a designated federal government agency shall do so, and the unit will pay the gross charges.


    For setting up an unit prior to March 31, the authority has actually kept a special arrangement of minimizing all the proposed Ground Water Charges (including the Rebate) by 20 percent in view of the Covid- 19 epidemic.

    For unauthorised extraction of groundwater without appropriate permission from the authority the unit will have to pay payment charges ranging in between Rs 8 and Rs 44 per 1,000 litres per day for different categories of users and locations.

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