Saturday, December 14th, 2019

National Water Policy should be truly a National Policy with full participation of all throughout the country : Salman Khurshid

Zakir Hussein INVC,, Delhi,, Salman Khurshid, Minister of Water Resources, today inaugurated the first Consultation Meeting with the representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions from the States of Andhra pradesh, Kerala, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka on review of the National Water Policy at Water and Land Management Training and Research Institute (WALAMTARI), Hyderabad. Speaking on the occasion he said that our National Water Policy should be truly a National Policy with full participation of all throughout the country. He called upon the elected representatives of the Panchayati Raj Institutions to provide specific feedback on the Centre’s role in water management from conflict resolution to co-operative development and on the ownership issue of groundwater. Shri Vincent H. Pala, Minister of State for Water Resources, briefed the elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions about the consultation process undertaken by the Ministry of Water Resources for review of National Water Policy. More than 50 elected representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions from the States of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka participated in the consultation meeting. A video conferencing was also arranged so that more elected representatives could participate in the consultation meeting from their respective District Headquarters. The first National Water Policy was adopted by National Resources Council in 1987. This was revised and updated in April 2002. Since then not only major developments have taken place in the field of water resources development, but also a greater realization has come that water is a prime natural resource, a basic human need and a precious national asset. Planning, development and management of water resources need to be governed by national perspectives. Therefore, it was considered necessary to review the provisions of National Water Policy in consultation with all stakeholders to re-orient the policy directives according to the changing times. The Ministry of Water Resources has initiated a comprehensive consultation process for review of National Water Policy with a view that all sections of the society join hands in resolving complex issues of water management in current scenario of water scarcity and impending dangers of climate change. Consultation meeting has been held with the Members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Water Resources, Members of the Consultative Committee for Ministry of Water Resources and Members of the Parliamentary Forum on Water Conservation and Management. Consultation meetings have also been held with academicians, experts and professionals, corporate representatives and NGOs. Now, a series of consultation meetings with the representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions is being undertaken starting with at Hyderabad. Other such meetings are proposed at Shillong, Pune, Jaipur and Bhubaneswar. During the consultation meeting, the elected representatives highlighted the grave drinking water crises in both rural and urban areas, deterioration in water quality, depletion of ground water level, illegal sand mining from river beds and suggested de-silting and proper maintenance of water bodies, adequate funding to local bodies, construction of check dams, ban on use of plastics, etc.

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