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Centre for passage of resolution on NWFL in State Assembly




 In order to ensure sustained water security through the principles of protection, regulation and management, Union Government has urged the State Government to pass a suitable resolution in the Odisha Legislative Assembly in support of the National Water Framework Law (NWFL).

Secretary Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Amarjit Singh has urged the State Government to favour the proposed NWFL, an umbrella of general principles, which will provide guidance to the Union, State and local government organizations in water management.

According to Singh at present issues regarding water is dealt by 11 Ministries of the Union Government, all the state governments and Union territories. However, Laws and Legal provisions are enacted for governing the use and development of the scarce resources and many are quite divergent in their perception, approach, doctrine and institutional arrangements, he said.

Hence a conjoint action is needed, for which the National Framework for Water has been given the shape of Law. The Final Draft of NWFL is prepared after consultation with stakeholders as well as top water experts of the country, he added.

Singh said that the proposed Act is a guidance doctrine, which suggests water as a “common pool” resource and obligates the State Government to ensure right to water for life to citizens through development of rivers and ground Water, development of integrated river basin management and resolution of inter-state river disputes.

Union Secretary has assured that the National Framework does not intend to centralize water management or to change the Centre-State Relations in any way.

The final draft of NWFL has also attempted to capture the major legal decisions on the issue of water by the Supreme Court of India and this is most timely and its adoption will help the Nation, States and Union Territories to manage comprehensively water resources in an efficient and sustainable manner, assured the Union Secretary.

Hence the State Government is required to pass the proposed National Framework on Water in the State Legislative Assembly approving the provisions.

However, before approving the NWFL, the State Government will thoroughly study the provisions of the National Framework as the State Government will have to be doubly sure about the move of the Union Government, said a senior official.

While in case of Mahanadi water dispute with Chhattisgarh government, the Union Water Resources Ministry quietly sided with the Chhattisgarh government, in the  case of Polavaram Multipurpose project the request of Odisha government was ignored and Centre supported the Andhra Pradesh government, he said.

With State’s recent bitter experiences of the State Government over Mahanadi and Pollavaram issues, experts in the State are just not convinced over the move of the Union Government to put in place a National Framework on Water and an intense scrutiny of the NWFL is needed, said a senior official of the State Government.






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