Puri: The Urban Development department has constituted a 10-member committee to look into various issues pertaining to groundwater in the Holy City.
Notably, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had earlier directed the department to constitute a panel for examining the status of groundwater in the city. The green body had pronounced the order while hearing a case on various civic and environmental issues.
According to sources, district Collector who is also the vice-chairman of the Puri-Konark Development Authority (PKDA) has been appointed the chairman of the committee while the municipality executive officer of the city has been declared as its convener.
PKDA planning board member, Irrigation department executive engineer, a senior scientist of Odisha Groundwater Council, Odisha Sewerage Board project engineer, city municipality engineer, an expert from Central Groundwater Council, a member of Central Pollution Control Board and the regional officer of State Pollution Control Board have been included in the committee.
As per the NGT order, the panel will examine the sweet water reserve land in the city and conduct tests on groundwater samples.
It is learnt that the panel will prepare an environment management programme (EMP) for the city and examine issues like rainwater harvesting and setting up of a desalination plant to provide drinking water to residents.
“The committee will submit quarterly reports on groundwater issue to the Urban Development department. It has been told to submit its first report July 21,” said a source.