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Centre has no intention to encroach states` rights on water: PM

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



New Delhi: In the wake of apprehensions expressed by the states over proposed national legal framework on water resources, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday sought to allay fears by saying the Centre has no intention to encroach their rights on water management.

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

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 government 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.

PTI

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