The subject of water conservation, preservation and management can be put under the Concurrent List as a separate entry, the Law Ministry has told the Water Resources Ministry. “Ministry of Water Resources recently sought advice and comments of Legislative Department, Ministry of Law and Justice, for shifting of entry 17 from List II (State List) to the List III (Concurrent List) of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.
“The department has advised that it would be pragmatic to have a separate entry under the Concurrent List to deal with matters relating to water conservation, water preservation, water management, etc,” MoS for Water Resources, Sanjeev Balyan told Rajya Sabha today.
He was asked whether the government has planned a move to include the subject of water under the Concurrent List of the Constitution.
The subject of water is listed under the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution in List I (Union List) at entry 56 and in List II (State List) at entry 17.
Water supplies, irrigation and canals, drainage and embankments and storage fall under the State List.
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Both, the Centre and states, can bring legislations on the subjects listed under the Concurrent List.
The Minister said water is a finite resource and due to increase in population, its per capita availability in the country is decreasing progressively.
He said the water resources are under “tremendous pressure” due to demands of irrigation, industry, urbanisation and other needs.
“On account of this, there has been an increased public demand from MPs, both in Parliament and outside it, the civil society and other stakeholders to bring water in the Concurrent List for water planning, conservation and management with a unified national perspective for its long term sustainability,” he said.
The proposal to bring water under the Union or the Concurrent List was earlier examined by two separate Commissions headed by RS Sarkaria and MM Punchhi. The proposal did not get support from either of the Commissions.