Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation is shortly expecting a final draft for the proposed National Water Framework Law from former Planning Commission member Mr. Mihir Shah, who in December 2015 was assigned with the task to suggest modifications in its earlier draft of 2013 on water governance in every state of the Indian union.
The aforesaid disclosure was made by Additional Secretary and Mission Director, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Mr. Nikhilesh Jha while inaugurating a Conference on Water Security in India under aegis of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in which Chairman, Central Water Commission (CWC), Mr. G S Jha was also present too.
The proposed draft, which according to Mr. Nikhilesh Jha would soon be submitted to the government is likely to equip the CWC with sufficient teeth so that its recommendations become mandatory on centre and even states to certain extent to judiciously manage the scarce water resources of the country but also honour its suggestions on pricing mechanism for use of water in agriculture sector.
The latest provisions of draft national water framework law as suggested by the Mihir Shah Committee, would enable afresh the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to prepare the framework bill in consultation with all concerned stakeholders to introduce water framework bill on governing principles for protection, conservation of waters and for matters corrected therewith and incident there too, hinted Mr. Jha.
He hoped that with the water framework law in place in near future, the government of the day would be able to revisit many issues, governing its water sector so that its judicious and prudent administration.
Speaking on the occasion Chairman, CWC, Mr. G S Jha said that the Commission in consultation with State and UT governments including water usages associations has been devising a mechanism for water agriculture pricing to ensure that prudent use of water is administered for irrigation with sufficient local intervention as well as investments as these two elements would fill in a sense of belonging among the farmers.
He also added that the CWC with necessary legal backing has also been working out with technical details in consultation with necessary stakeholders so that henceforth inter-state water disputes are resolved out of courts among and between the disputing states.
Chairman, Water & Solid Waste Management Committee, PHD Chamber, Mr. Gopal K Agarwal in his opening remarks sought that enactment of laws be effected to make sure that the owners of the land and landscapes should be debarred from exploiting the ground water resources. The Additional Secretary and Mission Director, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, however, responded that in the wake of stiff opposition from various states on this issue, the government has not been able to progress on this front.
On the occasion, Director, PHD Chamber, Dr. Ranjeet Mehta proposed a vote of thanks and moderated the conference.