14 January, New Delhi
The Centre is holding discussions with states on the issue of bringing water into the Concurrent List of the Constitution.
Inaugurating the third edition of Jal Manthan in New Delhi Friday, Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said the central government does not want to take the issue forward until it speaks to all states to see if a solution can be worked out staying within the constitutional framework without violating the rights of states.
Ms Bharti said, there is a proposal whether water can be brought into the Concurrent List and several parliamentarians have talked about it in the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha. The Minister said her Ministry is also seriously working on new acts for water use and Ganga.
Both the Centre and state can frame laws if water, at present part of the State List, is made part of the Concurrent List. Water supplies, irrigation and canals, drainage and
embankments and storage fall in the State List.
Earlier, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Water Resources too had urged the Centre to initiate earnest efforts to build a national consensus for bringing water into the Concurrent List of the Constitution so that a comprehensive plan can be prepared for water conservation.