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Detailed procedure for CGWA No Objection Certificate Renewal

02 Nov, 2022
CGWA No Objection Certificate Renewal

What is the role of CGWA in No Objection Certificate Renewal?

Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) introduced new groundwater abstraction guidelines to promote sustainable management of water resources in India. These guidelines tend to regulate groundwater extraction and conserve the scarce groundwater resources in the country. According to CGWA New Guidelines 2020, all new/existing industries, infrastructure and mining projects abstracting groundwater, and industries seeking expansion, unless particularly exempted, will be required to seek and renew a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from CGWA or the concerned State/ UT Ground Water Authority as the case may be. The entire process of No Objection Certificate (NOC) Renewal can be carried out online through a web-based application system. However, the complete details of the entire process are explained in this blog.

Authority In charge

The Central Government formed the Central Ground Water Authority to regulate groundwater development and management by issuing and renewing ‘No Objection Certificates’ for groundwater extraction. The NOC is meant for industries, infrastructure projects, mining projects, etc. Additionally, the Authority is responsible for framing guidelines regarding this from time to time in 22 states and two union territories, where groundwater development is not being regulated by the specific State Government/Union Territory administration.

Who needs to apply for issuing/renewing NOC by CGWA?

In case of the following scenarios where groundwater extraction is practised for reasons stated need, one needs to apply for the grant/renewal of NOC by CGWA –

  • Drinking and domestic use for group housing societies / residential apartments / Government water supply agencies in urban areas.
  • Commercial Use
  • Commercial entities extracting groundwater.
  • Industrial Use
  • NOC for domestic / drinking use for the workforce and green belt use by the new industries shall be permitted.
  • Mining Projects
  • All existing and new mining projects are required to obtain CGWA NOC for groundwater abstraction.
  • Infrastructure Projects
  • New residential buildings/ infrastructure projects may require dewatering during construction and/ or use groundwater for the same. In both cases, applicants shall get a No Objection Certificate before starting the work. Existing infrastructure projects must also seek a No Objection Certificate for groundwater abstraction.
  • Bulk Water Supply
  • All private tankers abstracting groundwater and using it to supply bulk water suppliers will now mandatorily get NOC for groundwater abstraction.

Exemptions from seeking NOC or CGWA NOC renewal

The following categories of consumers are exempted from seeking NOC for groundwater extraction. Also, since NOC is not granted to these categories, these are exempted from CGWA NOC renewal.

  • For drinking water and domestic uses, individual domestic consumers in urban and rural locations.
  • Central Armed Police Forces establishments and Armed Forces Establishments in urban and rural areas.
  • Rural drinking water supply schemes.
  • Agricultural activities.
  • Micro and Small Enterprises (MSME) extracting groundwater less than ten cum/day.

Cases in which NOC won’t be granted

  • In over-exploited assessment units, CGWA No Objection Certificate shall not be given for groundwater abstraction to any new industry except those lying in the category of MSME.
  • No new major industries shall be given CGWA No Objection Certificate (NOC) renewal or new NOC in over-exploited assessment areas except as per the policy guidelines.
  • No Objection Certificate shall not be issued to new packaged water industries in overexploited regions, even if they belong to the MSME category.
  • No ‘No Objection Certificate’ shall be issued for groundwater extraction for theme parks, water parks and amusement parks in over-exploited assessment units.
  • Non-compliance with conditions stipulated in the No Objection Certificate is considered a sufficient reason for cancellation of NOC accorded/ non-renewal of NOC.

Which general compliance conditions enable CGWA No Objection Certificate Renewal?

  1. Installation of a digital water flow meter (conforming to IS/ BIS standards) having a telemetry system in the abstraction structure(s) is mandatory for all applicants seeking CGWA No Objection Certificate Renewal or new NOC. Intimation regarding the installation shall be notified to the CGWA within one month of the grant of NOC through the web portal.
  2. Proponents must install rooftop rainwater harvesting and recharge systems in the project area.
  3. Proponents shall mandatorily get a water flow meter calibrated by an authorised agency once yearly.
  4. Proponents must pay Restoration / Ground Water Abstraction Charges based on the quantum of groundwater extraction as applicable as per the rates.
  5. Proponents applying for CGWA NOC must monitor groundwater quality from the abstraction structure(s) once yearly. Water samples from tube wells/bore wells/dug wells must be collected during April/May yearly and analysed in NABL-accredited labs for heavy metals, fundamental parameters, pesticides/ organic compounds etc. Water quality data must be submitted to CGWA through the web portal.
  6. The construction of purpose-built observation wells (piezometers) for monitoring groundwater is mandatory. Water level data must be made available to CGWA through a web portal.
  7. If the existing well becomes defunct because of mechanical failure within the validity period of NOC, the user can build a replacement well after intimating CGWA on a web portal. The defunct well must be sealed appropriately. Also, the user seeking a new or 
  8. CGWA No Objection Certificate Renewal must submit documentary proof. However, if the existing abstraction structures fail to give water and the proponent wishes to drill another tube well in the same area, prior permission from the Authority is required. If the replacement well is drilled at another place, the proponent must obtain a new NOC.
  9. Suppose there is a change of ownership, the new owner of the industry must apply for including necessary changes in the NOC with documentary proof within two months of taking possession of the area.
  10. Wherever feasible, the greenbelt (horticulture) water requirement must be met from treated/ recycled wastewater.

Monitoring of compliance with CGWA No Objection Certificate Renewal Conditions

To monitor the compliance of CGWA No Objection Certificate Renewal conditions, CGWA and State/ UT Ground Water Authorities must take the following steps:

  1. A suitable Management Information System (MIS) will be employed for compliance monitoring.
  2. Deputy Commissioners (DCs) / District Collectors/ District Magistrates (DMs) are authorised to take enforcement steps such as disconnection of electricity, sealing of unauthorised groundwater abstraction structures, launching prosecution against those violating the NOC conditions and taking steps for the imposition of Environmental Compensation.
  3. State groundwater organisations and technical officers of CGWA /CGWB are authorised to take action concerning periodic inspections and monitoring with the competent Authority’s approval.
  4. In case of violating any of the NOC conditions, the proponents must be liable to pay the fines as per Section 16.

Documents required for CGWA No Objection Certificate Renewal

The following documents are needed for renewal of the CGWA No Objection Certificate –

  1. Revised site performs
  2. Outline of preparation of compliance
  • Brief about the proposed project with pictures, if any,
  • Location details,
  • Compliance conditions as per NOC Details of tube wells/bore wells constructed as per the No Objection Certificate issued by CGWA. Proponents must attach photographs of existing tube wells.
  • Installation of water meters with photographs of the constructed wells by the company. Monthly data indicating the quantum of groundwater withdrawal.
  • Groundwater quality for pre- and post-monsoon periods for the tube wells/bore wells and piezometer constructed within the project area.
  • Water quality analysis of water samples collected during April/May and November from an accredited lab.
  • Water level data for the existing/constructed tube wells and bore wells within the project area. Details of artificial recharge and rainwater harvesting measures implemented by the firm with details indicating type, design, number of recharge structure/shafts; the impact of recharge; quantum of water recharged/proposed to be recharged per annum; photos of constructed recharge structures, etc.
  • The following details should be provided for CGWA No Objection Certificate renewal –
  1.  Details of recharge computations for paved/roads, rooftop, open; greenbelt.
  2. Location of the recharge structures implemented within the project areas.
  3. Designs of the implemented recharge structures (both plan and section view).
  4. Photos of implemented recharge structures.
  5. Computation of runoff from the catchments intended to divert to the ponds.
  6. Location of the constructed pond.
  7. Design of the recharge shaft/shafts constructed within the pond.
  8. Photos of recharge structure along with a pond.
  9. Computation of recharge quantum along with photos implemented outside the project area.
  10. Details of steps taken for maintenance activities (photos, if any) for the implemented recharge structure to ensure adequate recharge.
  11. Location on the map of the constructed recharge structures for rainwater conservation and recharge.
  • Measures adopted for water conservation include reuse, recycling, treatment etc. This includes the firm’s water chart balance and details of the water conservation methods adopted by the firm, including photos of the same.
  • Install piezometer with photos with details including design, depth, diameter, lithology, etc., along with monitoring schedule.
  • Water security plan of villages (submit a separate report).
  • Plantation of trees for enhancing infiltration of water to the underground.
  • Copy of NOC from CGWA, SPCB, MoEF, etc., at annexures.
  • Any other details regarding the compliance of NOC.

3. Affidavit for renewal of CGWA NOC withdrawing groundwater up to 100 KLD (attach in extra attachment section while applying online)

Renewal of No Objection Certificate by CGWA

Renewal of the No objection certificate must be done periodically, subject to compliance with the conditions stipulated therein:

  • The proponent must apply for renewal of the No Objection Certificate by CGWA at least three months before the expiry of its validity.
  • No Objection Certificate will be renewed for the terms mentioned for several uses as follows:
Category Use Term of renewal
Critical, Semi-critical and safe Infrastructure projects for drinking & domestic use and urban Water Supply Agencies 5 years
Industries 3 years
Mines 2 years
Over exploited All users in ‘Over-exploited areas’ 2 years
  • The Compliance Report must accompany the Application for No Objection Certificate by CGWA.
  • Before granting renewal, CGWA or State/ UT Authority must ensure that the conditions of the No Objection Certificate have been complied with.
  • Suppose the renewal application is submitted on time, and the respective State/ UT Authority and the CGWA cannot process the application on time. In that case, the NOC shall be deemed to be extended till the date of its renewal.
  • In case of modification in the category of the assessment unit, renewals would be given with norms as stipulated for the new category.
  • Suppose the proponent fails to apply for renewal of NOC within 90 days from the expiry date. In that case, the proponent shall be liable to pay Environmental Compensation for the period beginning from the expiry date of the NOC till the competent Authority renews it.

Fee structure for CGWA NOC renewal

The applicant is supposed to pay a processing fee of Rs. 5000/- for each application for renewal of the No Objection Certificate by CGWA. All payments must be made online through Non –Tax Receipt Portal (https://bharatkosh.gov.in).

The processing fee is non-refundable. Therefore, the applicant must check the availability of required documents and submission eligibility before submitting the online application. Applicant must ensure that all relevant details are correctly filled in a proper format. An incomplete application will be rejected without a refund of the processing fee.

Upon submitting the complete application form in proper format and relevant documents on the NOCAP web portal of CGWA, the applicant gets an option to print the form.

The online application form must be duly attested/signed by the applicant / authorised representative. The form, along with an original copy of all attachments and Bharatkosh Receipt, should be sent to the Region Director of CGWA at the address given in the printed copy of the form.

Detailed procedure for CGWA NOC renewal

Here’s the complete process for CGWA NOC renewal

  1. Select the online link application for NOC
  2. Click on the option ‘Applicant Login.’
  3. Enter Login and password
  4. Fill in the necessary details
  5. Upload required documents
  6. Click on the ‘Submit’ button for the final submission of the form. Note that till the application is successfully submitted, it won’t be considered final.
  7. Application, once submitted, cannot be edited.
  8. The application number will be displayed upon the successful submission of the form.
  9. Applicants can view the submitted Application Form and take the printout of the same.

Environmental Compensation in case of absence of CGWA NOC renewal

Extraction of groundwater for commercial use by infrastructure units, industries and mining projects without a valid NOC from the appropriate Authority is considered illegal. Therefore, such facilities must pay Environmental Compensation for the quantum of extracted groundwater. Minimum rates of Environmental Compensation in case of non-availability of NOC renewal by CGWA shall not be less than Rs. 1,00,000.

Conclusion

India is the largest user of groundwater worldwide. CGWA has been regulating groundwater development for its sustainable management in the nation via measures like the issue of public notices, advisories, and the grant of No Objection Certificates (NOC) for groundwater withdrawal. The Authority has also framed guidelines for the grant of renewal of NOC by CGWA for groundwater withdrawal, which have been revised from time to time. The revised guidelines aim to ensure a more robust groundwater regulatory mechanism is implemented in the country.

Read our Article: How to Obtain CGWA NOC for Infrastructure Projects

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