Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti has said that the government is mulling to enact a law to put a cap on the usage of river water as well as underground water.
“In order to set parameters over the usage of river water and underground water there is a need for a legislation. Therefore, a committee has been formed and we are studying the laws and rules of Netherlands and Bangladesh in this regard,” Uma told reporters here last night.
As per the Constitution, water is a state subject, hence, we want to come up with a law with the nod of the states, she said.
“We are exploring the possibility of formulating a law with the consent of state governments to decide the cap on drawing water from rivers and underground sources and also regarding the quality of water released into the rivers,” the Minister said.
Uma said that she is of the firm view that polluted water once treated (purified), should not be released into rivers, but should be reused.
“The amount of Rs 20,000 crore sanctioned by the government the under the Namami Gange Project is yet to be utilised,” she said, adding that the Ganga is being cleaned and protected from different funds.
“Ganga is a special river. I am of the view that the entire global community should come forward with financial help to clean and protect it. If such a thing happens, we will return the sanctioned Rs 20,000 crore to the government,” she said.
The responsibility of a clean Kshipra river, on the banks of which the Simhastha Kumbh Mela will be organised next year, solely rests with Madhya Pradesh government. I will neither interfere in it directly nor mediate in it, Uma said categorically when asked about the Hindu seers expressing unhappiness over pollution.
However, the Minister said that if the state government seeks help from the central government for cleaning Kshipra, she will take appropriate steps.