Who should control water Resources: Civil Services Mentor Magazine November 2012

Who should control water Resources

Every State has Dispute in sharing water resources with its Neighbouring state. Then and there problems arising between Peoples of two states. They are not allowing neighboring state Vehicles to enter into their state. Some parts of India are flooded with Rain, they don’t have place to live till the flooded rain water gets drained, in some other parts people are longing to get water for irrigation and their basic needs. We can stop all these if we nationalize all water resources in India. But this is still under consideration from Government side, but no steps have been taken to implement this. Putting water on the Concurrent List is not necessarily an act of centralization, though it could lead to such a development. That danger is real and needs to be avoided.

The Union Ministry of Water Resources has for long been arguing for a shift of water to the Concurrent List without any serious expectation of its happening, but has now begun to pursue the idea more actively. The Ashok Chawla committee, which was primarily concerned with the question of rationalizing the allocation of natural resources with a view to reducing the scope for corruption, was reported by the media to have recommended inter alia the shifting of water to the Concurrent List. There seems to be no such specific recommendation in the draft of the Committee’s report that one has seen, but the possibility is referred to in the text and there is an Annexe on the subject. These developments have revived the old debate.

However the problems in implementing this I think are,

  • At present Water Resources in India are under the control of respective state government, to nationalize all water resources all state governments must accept it.
  • Detailed well planned architecture has to be prepared to connect all rivers without any city gets affected.
  • Lakhs and lakhs of Acres of Land will be needed to connect all rivers; this must be taken care by the respective state government.

Nationalization of water resources has both merits and demerits. Though it is a sensitive issue to be handled, considerations from different state governments are to be looked before doing any proceedings in this aspect. As different water resources cater different kinds of needs, it is to be clearly understood what type of resources are to be nationalized.

Merits are:

  • Nationalization can improve gross usage of water resources there by decreasing wastage
  • It creates employment to several people directly or indirectly
  • Future scope of utility of these can be estimated and implemented