PM allays fears of states on national legal framework on water

Water policy

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today allayed fears of the states on the proposed national legal framework on water, saying the Centre has no intention of encroaching upon their rights on the issue.

"The central government does not wish to encroach, in any manner, upon the constitutionally guaranteed rights of states or to centralise water management...I would like to emphasise the need to see the proposed national legal framework in proper perspective," he said.

"The framework would be an umbrella statement of general principles governing the exercise of legislative, executive or devolved powers by the Centre, the states and the local governing bodies," the Prime Minister said here.

Singh was addressing the sixth meeting of the National Water Resources Council which is likely to adopt the latest National Water Policy.

The policy proposes to have a national legal framework on water issues which the state governments have been opposing since the draft was put in public domain in January this year.

Referring to the issue of depleting groundwater, the Prime Minister said inspite of its "vital importance", there is no regulation for its extraction and coordination among competing uses.

"We need to initiate steps to minimise misuse of groundwater by regulating the use of electricity for its extraction," he said.

Singh said rapid economic growth and urbanisation were widening the demand-supply gap and worsening the country's water-stress index.

"The situation calls for judicious management of our limited water resources and the paradigm shift in our approach...We, therefore, need to rise above political, ideological and regional differences," he said.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.