Due to a very good status of groundwater resources and availability of rich and fertile soil in major part of thestate agriculture had become the major trade and occupation of the people.Before the 70’s groundwater exploitation was restricted to installation of somedeep tube wells and cluster shallow tube wells. During the 80’s it is observed, thatthe ground water level in some parts of the state is going down alarmingly,andin some areas it is contaminated with arsenic, fluoride, etc. The minorirrigation Census conducted in 1985 gave a picture of the rising trend ofgroundwater exploitation in the state. Second MI Census was conducted in 1992.In 1993 restriction was imposed on energisation of Low duty tube wells fittedwith submersible pumps in 8 districts of West Bengal through an executiveorder. The findings of the Third Minor Irrigation Census 2002 revealed sharpincrease in number of privately owned low duty tube wells. Finding that the restrictions were notadequate to control the indiscriminate extraction of groundwater the WestBengal Ground Water Resources (Management Control and Regulation) Bill wasintroduced in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly on the 22nd March2005The West Bengal Groundwater Resources(Management Control and Regulation) Act 2005 came in to effect on 31stAugust 2005 The State Water Investigation Directorate, Government of WestBengal is the functional organ for implementing the Act. Under the provisionsof the Act1.Therewill be three authorities, i.e. the District Level Authority (DLA), TheCorporation Level Authority (CLA) and the State Level Authority (SLA). TheDistrict magistrate will be the chairman of the DLA and the Geologist SWID ofthe district will be the member secretary. The Municipal Commisiioner will bethe Chairman and the Superintending Geologist, SWID will be the member secretary of the CLA, TheDirector SWID will be the Chairman of the SLA and the Superintending Geologist,SWID will be the member secretary of theSLA2.Anyuser in West Bengal desirous to sink a well fitted with mechanical orelectrical pump shall have to obtain permit from the DLA or the CLA as the casemay be.
They will have to tender requisite fee along with the application. 3.Anyuser who has sunk a well or using groundwater by mechanical or electrical pumpbefore the Act has come into force should have to obtain certificate ofregistration from the DLA or the CLA as the case may be. No fee is required forregistration. 4.TheDLA and CLA before issuing the certificate of registration or permit willconsider the water balance, quality and quantity available.5.TheDLA and the CLA will have the power to issue permit or certificate ofregistration for wells extracting water not exceeding 50 cubic metre per hourand 100 m3/hour respectively. For any well drawing more water the case will beforwarded to the SLA for consideration.6.TheDLA and the CLA has the task of preparing a district profile every 5 yearsconsidering the qualitative and quantitative aspects of groundwater resource. 7.Anyuser aggrieved by any action taken or decision made by the DLA or CLA or anyother person authorized by the by the SLA may prefer an appeal to the AppellateAuthority formed by the Government.The Rules under the Act have come intoforce from 1st August 2006.The rules have prescribed the terms of offices of the differentauthorities and conduct of meetings of the Authorities. It also contains theprocedures for filing the applications, prescribed forms and fees for permit orcertificate of registration. For any well sunk after the date of the Act hascome into force permit is required. The Act is a very timely intervention of theGovernment for the proper management and conservation of the precious naturalresource. The success of the Act lies in people’s awareness, strong motivationand all-out cooperation from all corners of the societ