Bengaluru: With severe water crisis looming over the Southern states, the Centre, last week, had issued a drought advisory to Tamil Nadu and cautionary letters to Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana asking them to use water judiciously.
However, the BJP in its manifesto had promised to come up with unified Ministry of Water to end the water woes. Is this really achievable?
Kshitij Urs, a Professor at the National Law School of India University, opined that water governance should be democratized and not centralized.
He criticised the recent repeal of the Karnataka Lake Conservation and Development Authority (KLCDA) Act and handing over the water bodies to the Minor Irrigation department. Urs felt such centralized decisions distance citizens from government policies.
“Comprehensive approach is required and no law would give legitimacy to such process. We are headed the United States way. Most of the developed sites are on the West Coast. There the state process was overruled and projects were imposed. They were disastrous projects,” Urs said.
Water is a state subject and the advisory has asked the states to use water judiciously.
It is hinted that the unified ministry would look into the decades old issue of interlinking of river. The volatile project has been dubbed as a disastrous move.
It would also look into the issues such as water conservation, irrigation and crop patterns, apart from the river interlinking project which has been a heated debate for environmentalists.
“There is enough literature against river linking. As they say it is very different from minor river diversions. No major political party would lose the opportunity to make money out of this project,” he added....