Saturday, September 20, 2014


West Bengal has a very good groundwater potential. The reason of such affluence is due to her geographical location, high rainfall, and geological setting. But in recent times groundwater development in some districts in this state has been increased to such an extent that in some areas conditions of near overexploitation has developed. The condition, though not severe yet, has inspired hydro-geologists to think for conservation and sustainable development of groundwater. It has become necessary to assess the state of art and to find ways to augment the resource. Groundwater is not an isolated resource. It is a phenomenon within the hydrological cycle. So depending on the hydro-geological condition, water level condition, and stage of development proper measure for control of groundwater exploitation should be undertaken.
Now groundwater in West Bengal has now become a precious commodity. New industries are coming up in west Bengal, who will also be more dependants on groundwater. So the Act is a very timely intervention of the Government in proper management and conservation of the precious natural resource. It has become a great task of the implementing agency to carry on with it. 
Initially the groundwater Act 2005 was extensive and covered all types of structures that exploit groundwater through mechanical pumping devices. But recent changes have spared the farmers from obtaining permit. So the Act is now being implemented upon industries that are willing to use groundwater for their production or other uses in the industrial areas.
Some significant changes are made to the procedures for obtaining permit, though the main protocols, like submission of application, depositing permit/ application fees, and the authority who will receive the permit have not been changed.
There are two authorities:
1) the District Level Authority or the DLA, where the District Majistrate of the respective district is the chairman and the Geologist in charge of the district level offices of State Water Investigation Directorate (SWID) is the member secretary and the key technical person. The DLA has 10 to 12 maembers from the line departments and the Zilla Parishad who will initially examine the application.
2) The State level authority (SLA) gives the final vetting of the application. The Superintending Geologist of SWID is the member secretary and the Director SWID is the chairman of the SLA. There are other members of the Expert Committee from departments like, PHED, CGWB, Agriculture, Irrigation, Minor Irrigation etc.
The basic procedures for obtaining the permit are:
1.       Apply in plain paper to the DLA and collect requisite number of application forms from the DLA. The format of the form is available at
2.       Fill up the form (it is a bit complicated) collect all required documents and information and get treasury challan form (TR 7). You can download the form here
3.       Fill up the treasury challan and visit the geologist of your district (where the industry will come up). 4 copies of TR form will be required for each application.
4.       The Geologist (the member secretary of the SLA) will sign on your TR form.
5.       You will then have to deposit the application fee (Rs. 500) to the State Bank of India branch of the district. The Bank will return 2 copies of the TR form.
6.       You now come back to the DLA office and submit the Application form along with the TR form and the relevant documents.
7.       The member secretary will examine the form, your water requirement, visit the location of the propose tubewell, prepare a note on the hydrogeological condition of the site, the merit of the application and place it to the DLA meeting.
8.       DLA if satisfied forward the application to the SLA with their recommendation.
9.       Your Case will be discussed in the SLA meeitng and a high power committee will examine your case. If they are satisfied they will vet the case and instruct the DLA to issue the permit.
10.    The DLA will issue a letter of information to the applicant. The applicant will again submit Rs. 1000 as permit fee to the bank. Come back to the geologist and receive the permit.
 The documents required: (not limited to)
1.       The application form duly filled in.
2.       DPR of your Industrial Project + proof of ownership of land
3.       The mouza map of the area showing the location of the proposed tube well.
4.       Your detailed break up of water use.
5.       You detailed plan about how you are going the get the required water, the quantity and source
6.       Your water conservation plan
7.       Your rainwater harvesting plan
8.       Details of water harvesting structures ( no groundwater recharge in industrial area is allowed by the West Bengal Pollution Control Board)
9.       Location of the RWH ponds will have to be shown in the mouza map and also in the proposed layout plan.
10.    A declaration in plain paper that you will maintain the RWH ponds as long as the plant will be there.
11.    You will have to keep the existing ponds in your plant, but if you wish to fill it you will have to take necessary arrangements fos alternative pond excavation and conversion of the pond land.
12.    Your CSR activities related to groundwater conservation and augmentation.
13.    A hydro-geological feasibility report of your proposed plant area (buffer zone) to support your demand.
14.    Impact analysis of the whole operation of groundwater extraction.