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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Jharkhand opposed to Centre's new water policy

PTI  New Delhi, December 28, 2012
First Published: 15:37 IST(28/12/2012) | Last Updated: 15:43 IST(28/12/2012)

BJP-ruled Jharkhand on Friday opposed the Centre's new water policy, saying it indicates a design to tamper with the basic structure of the Constitution as water comes under the state subject.

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Participating in the 6th meeting of the National Water Resource Council in New Delhi, chief minister Arjun Munda said, "There is no need to enact any central law on this subject nor it is in consonance with the provisions of the Constitution".

Raising the issue of inadequate water supply to the tribal state despite major part of the cachment areas of Damodar-Barakar river basin and Mayurakshi river basin falling in Jharkhand, Munda also demanded a review of the provisions that lead to "disproportionate water division" in the state.

The Jharkhand chief minister said that since all the provisions of the National Water Policy-2012 are related to better management "the need is that the Centre should recommend the proposed provisions for better water resources management as envisaged in the new central policy to states so that they can manage the water resources better".

He rued that while on one hand there is a talk about integrated water management, there is no discipline in the current education system to prepare experts for the same.

On the issue of inadequate water division to the state, the Jharkhand chief minister said while 70% of the catchment area of Damodar-Barakar basin and all its five water reservoirs under the Damodar Valley Corporation fall in Jharkhand, it gets only 25% of water for irrigation and other works.

He said a similar situation prevails with regard to the Masanjor Dam in Mayurakshi basin on which Jharkhand has no control. Munda said that despite 100% of its catchment area falling there, the state gets just 25 to 30% of the total irrigation capacity of the dam.

"It is clear that there is need for review by the government of India into the disproportionate water division in Mayurakshi basin and Damodar-Barakar basin. In this context, there is also a need for provisions for time bound redressal of the problems related to inter-state rivers," Munda said.

He also demanded a separate curriculum on 'water engineering' in colleges and flagged the issue of delay in environmental clearances for water projects, saying it leads to escalation of costs and puts obstruction in the management of water resources.

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