New Delhi: A Parliamentary panel looking into
the issue of depleting ground water levels has urged the
Centre to build national consensus on putting water in either
the Union List or Concurrent list of Constitution so that a
comprehensive plan can be prepared for water conservation.
The views of the panel have the support of the Ministry
of Water Resources.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Water Resources
in its latest report on `Augmentation of Depleted Ground Water
Level` presented in both Houses of Parliament this week has
quoted an unnamed representative of the Ministry as saying
that "It (water) should be brought under the Union List; if
not in the Union List, at least in the Concurrent list".
The Ministry official was asked to comment on the
"desirability" of effecting constitutional amendment with
regard to water which figures in the State List (entry 17),
Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.
"The Committee was informed by the Ministry that states
are having a lot of feuds on the issue of water. The Ministry
tries to resolve the disputes as per the existing mechanism,
still are unable to resolve the disputes among the states,"
the report said.
In one of its recommendations, the Committee has made a
strong pitch to evolve a consensus to put water in either the
Union List or the Concurrent List.
"The Committee would urge the government to initiate
steps...to strive to build a national consensus to bring water
either in the Union List or the Concurrent List after due
consultation with the state governments so that a
comprehensive national plan of action is evolved for water
"The Committee recommend that the draft proposal in this
regard may be initiated by the Ministry expeditiously," the
While water supplies, irrigation and canals, drainage and
embankments and storage fall in the State List, issues like
development of inter-state rivers come under the Union List.