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Three illegal wells sealed in west Amman neighbourhood

By Hana Namrouqa - Mar 02,2014 - Last updated at Mar 02,2014

AMMAN — Three illegal wells in west Amman’s Wadi Al Seer Municipality were sealed on Sunday morning by the Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ), according to an official. 

The wells were drilled for pumping water and selling it to the public via tankers, Water Ministry Spokesperson Omar Salameh told The Jordan Times.

“The wells were discovered in Al Qaysiyeh neighbourhood in Wadi Al Seer. A team comprising representatives from WAJ, the Gendarmerie, the Public Security Department and the Jordan Electric Power Company went to the site this morning to end the violations,” Salameh said.

The illegal wells were connected to several 380-volt cables to power pumps, according to the ministry, which said that perpetrators were diverting water from the wells to reservoirs, before selling it to tankers.

The wells were sealed under an ongoing campaign, which was launched in August 2013, to end violations on water networks and close down all illegal wells.

The authorities dismantled more than 7,091 illegal water pipes between August and December last year, 75.5 per cent of which were in the capital, according to ministry figures.

The figures also indicate that 174 illegal wells were sealed in different parts of the country, while 12 water drillers were confiscated for digging wells without obtaining a licence.

In January this year, the Cabinet authorised the ministry to strictly end all forms of violations on water resources as part of a national crackdown on water theft and violations in the Kingdom. 

In addition, the Council of Ministers has endorsed several decisions and regulations to curb infringements and maximise penalties against offenders.

These include depriving owners of illegal wells of agricultural or any other governmental loans, and supplying electricity for wells only after clearance is obtained from WAJ, proving they are licensed. 

The new regulations also prohibit the import of water pumps for wells unless the Ministry of Water and Irrigation grants permission.

In addition, the regulations stipulate that work permits of guest workers employed at farms with illegal wells will be revoked.

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