Rs 1 lakh penalty for drilling borewells without permit; revised order issued

A borewell. Photo: Manorama

Erumeli: Borewell drilling agencies will face strict action including a hefty fine from now on, for drilling wells without registration and permit. Though an order regarding this was passed earlier, in 2014, it was suspended later owing to a lack of clarity. It is this order that has been revised now.

Digging a borewell illegally (without complying with the norms) would attract a fine of Rs 1 lakh and the wells without registration will attract a fine of Rs 25,000.

The Executive Engineer, Groundwater Department, is authorized to impose the fine.

A permit from the local self-governance institution and clearance from the Groundwater Department is mandatory to proceed with digging a borewell.

How to register

The one-time registration fee for the agencies is Rs 60,000. Once the agency gets the registration certificate, the agent must register with the Groundwater Department’s ‘Neerarivu’ mobile application. The details of each borewell dug must be uploaded on this application.

Registration for the borewell agencies was made mandatory from the year 2014. Owing to a case in the Court, the order could not be implemented until 2017. Confusions were also there on imposing the fine. With this, the previous order was suspended and a new one was issued clarifying these provisions.

Borewell survey continues

The survey to record the details of the borewells in the State and the water availability is being done by the Kudumbasree.

In the first phase, the data is uploaded through the ‘Neerarivu’ app in 39 blocks. The Groundwater Department has earmarked Rs 6 crore for this survey. So far, the details of 7 lakh wells have been collected. Rs 32.50 is allotted for collecting the details of one well and submitting it. It is Rs 52.50 if the well is in a hilly region.

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