(1) The Act envisages control, regulation, abstractions and transportation of Groundwater in the Notified Area through (i) registration of existing wells, (ii) regulation of sinking of new wells (iii) issue of licences to extract water for non domestic use and (iv) issue of licences for transportation through goods vehicles.
The term "Ground Water" mentioned in the Act means the water which exists below the surface of the ground and the term "scheduled area" means the whole of the city of Chennai and the villages specified in the schedule.
(2) The Act which came into force in February '88 exempted from its purview wells used for Agricultural purposes as on the date of Notification and wells used for purely domestic purposes. Construction of wells for other use was regulated through grant of permission. Abstraction of water was however regulated on an annual basis.
In granting or refusing a licence, the competent authority shall have regard to
- The purpose or purposes for which ground water is to be used
- The existence of other competitive users
- The availability of ground water
- Effect on other sources of water supply
- The compatability with the existing water supply system
- The availability of factors controlling or preventing pollution
The Competent Authority for the purpose of the Act
- in the City of Chennai is the Board (Metrowater)
- in relation to the villages specified in the Schedule, the respective Sub-Collectors of Revenue Divisional Officers of the Taluks in which the villages fall
Issue of licence is after technical clearance and after payment of prescribed fee. The Licence fee specified shall be paid for every financial year or part thereof. Whenever the competent authority has decided to grant the licence against Form-II (extraction) and III (transportation) it shall send an intimation to that effect to the applicant and inform him to remit the specified fee in the table below:
|a) Licence for extraction or use ground water for agricultural purposes
|b) Licence for extraction or use of ground water for other purposes
| (1) Using pumps with capacity not exceeding 5 HP
| (2) Using pumps with capacity exceeding 5 HP but not exceeding 10 HP
| (3) Using pumps with capacity exceeding 10 HP
|c) Licence for transport of ground water by lorry, Trailer or any other goods vehicle
The competent authorities have full powers to withdraw or cancel the licence, if any of the provisions of the Act or the rules made under the Act or if any terms and conditions and restrictions, subject to which the permits or licence have been granted are contravened or otherwise not compiled with.
Punishment of first offence is with a fine which may extend to Rs.2000/- and for the second and subsequent offences, with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to six months or with fine which may extend to Rs.5000/- or with both.
Any person who after having been convicted of any offence under this Act, continues to commit the same offence shall be punished with a further fine, which may extend to Rs.500/- for every day during which he continues so as to offend after such conviction.
Any offence punishable under the Act is a cognizable offence within the meaning of the code of criminal procedure.