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PM calls for regulating use of groundwater

PM Manmohan Singh on Tuesday stressed on the need to move towards participatory mechanisms of pricing of water by the primary stakeholders themselves.



New Delhi: Noting that inadequate and sub-optimal pricing of power and water are promoting misuse of groundwater, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday stressed on the need to move towards participatory mechanisms of pricing of water by the primary stakeholders themselves.

He also said keeping in mind the limitations on increasing water supply, a large part of effort to plug the demand-supply gap must focus on increasing water use efficiency.

"There is no regulation of ground water extraction and no coordination among competing uses. Inadequate and sub-optimal pricing of both power and water is promoting the misuse of groundwater. We need to move to a situation where ground-water can be treated as a common property resource," the Prime Minister said inaugurating the first National Water Week here.

Singh underlined that one of the problems in achieving better management is that the current institutional and legal structures that deal with water in India are inadequate, fragmented and hence "need urgent reform."

"The planning, development and management of water resources has to keep pace with current realities. There is a suggestion that a broad over-arching national legal framework of general principles on water is necessary to pave the way for essential legislation on water governance in every state," he said.

Singh stressed that management of irrigation systems should move away from a narrow engineering-construction- centric approach to a more multi-disciplinary and participatory approach. "We need to move towards transparent and participatory mechanisms of pricing of water by the primary stakeholders themselves," he said.

PTI

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