Parl panel wants to bring water under Concurrent list
Members of a Parliamentary committee have supported the idea of putting water in the Concurrent List of Constitution.
New Delhi: Amid inter-state disputes on water sharing, members of a Parliamentary committee have supported the idea of putting water in the Concurrent List of Constitution to help the Centre have a greater say in settling feuds.
Water at present is a state subject.
There was "near unanimity" among members of Consultative Committee on Water Resources to bring water in the Concurrent List to ensure that the Centre has a greater say in resolving disputes.
The Committee, headed by Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, met here yesterday in which members supported the idea with some "safeguards" to protect the interests of the states.
While the Centre has supported the idea, the Ashok Chawla Committee on Management of Natural Resources had recommended bringing water to either the Union List or the Concurrent List. The Centre is learnt to be supportive of the recommendation of the Chawla panel.
"Water is a national resource, therefore, the state governments should not have the sole right over it," a member said after the meeting.
Another member said it would be better if there are certain "safeguards" to protect the interests of the state while bringing water to the Concurrent List.
Last year, a top representative of the Ministry had told the Standing Committee on Water Resources, "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.