Punjab to levy groundwater extraction charges from Feb 1; domestic, agriculture sectors exempted
Chandigarh, January 29: Punjab government is set to start charging all non-exempted users for extracting groundwater from the state from February 1.
In this regard, the state water regulation and development authority issued a notification and clarified that new directions do not cover groundwater use for agriculture, drinking, or domestic purposes.
Government water supply schemes, military and central paramilitary establishments, urban local bodies, Panchayati raj institutions, cantonment boards, improvement trusts, area development authorities, and places of worship are also exempt from the directives.
Punjab Groundwater Extraction and Conservation Directions, 2023 have been issued by the Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority (PWRDA).
An exemption has also been provided for all users who extract less than 300 cubic metres of groundwater per month, according to the statement.
According to the new notification, all non-exempted users must apply to the authority for permission to extract groundwater, and groundwater charges will begin on February 1.
The groundwater charges have been set to reflect the degree of groundwater stress in each Punjab block.
For the purpose of determining groundwater charges, the blocks of Punjab have been divided into three zones (green, yellow, and orange) based on the extent of annual groundwater extraction compared to annual groundwater recharge.
According to the notification, charges in the green zone will range between Rs 4 and Rs 14 per cubic metre, depending on the volume of groundwater extracted.
The charges for the yellow zone will range from Rs 6 to Rs 18 per cubic metre, while the charges for the orange zone will range from Rs 8 to Rs 22 per cubic metre.
The charges are intended for various categories of underground water extraction volume, which include more than Rs 300 to 1,500 cubic metres per month, more than Rs 1,500 to 15,000 cubic metres, more than Rs 15,000 up to 75,000 cubic metres, and more than 75,000 cubic metres per month.
A non-refundable application fee for permission to extract water will also be charged, according to the notification.
- With inputs from agencies