Indian Government try to find new ways to rob its citizens with various ways of exploitation to fill politicians Swiss Bank Accounts. No one knows where all this money goes, as Government of India refusing to disclose its ministers Swiss bank accounts, nor even opposition is asking for it, coz everyone has its hands in it.
Now this will be new police to make some more money. Groundwater is a Public Property policy will fill government coppers by robbing innocent farmers.
NEW DELHI: Groundwater, a precious natural resource, is for all practical purposes a private property in India. Anyone can bore and extract water from the land he owns with few rules to restrict over-exploitation.
But all this could soon change. Plans are afoot to alter laws and regulations to make groundwater a common property resource to ensure better regulation by government as a public trustee with the involvement of communities in the management of underground aquifers. That would mean that nobody can withdraw water even from the land that he owns without a sanction from community-controlled authorities like panchayat.
The move would radically rewrite management of groundwater in India – giving community rights over aquifers instead of restricting these to landowners who can simply drill and exploit the resource.
To change groundwater management rules, the government aims to pass a framework law under Article 252 of the Constitution. This can be done with two states required to pass a similar law before the central initiative. The particular provision helps the Centre make a law that impinges on federal concerns but not override state governments’ powers. Once approved by Parliament it makes it necessary for states to align their regulations in keeping with the principles of the central law.
This, the government believes, would prevent the need to alter the constitutional position of ‘water’ as a state subject while penal provisions would be placed within states’ powers.
Radical changes emerging from the Planning Commission envision Panchayati Raj institutions will become the real-time custodians of the common resource and help regulate the use of aquifers in their domains. Such a practice is in vogue in some states like Andhra Pradesh, but the implementation of a framework law could ensure other states too devolve power and assume control.
India is the largest user of groundwater in the world. Almost a third of groundwater aquifers are semi-critical, critical and over-exploited and some estimates suggest that at current rate of extraction 60% of the groundwater blocks could turn critical by 2025. Some 60% of irrigated agriculture and over 80% of the rural and urban water supply is now being met from groundwater.
The unchecked depletion of aquifers has led to a public health crisis across the country, besides leaving agriculture precariously placed in several states.
Bringing water into the concurrent list of the Constitution is seen within government circles as a politically difficult shot with concerns over federalism bound to play a spoiler. The framework law, the government hopes, will leave the powers of the state untouched.
The government intends to substantially increase financial support to states to also ensure a clear demarcation of aquifers – a task that remains incomplete so far — and so allow communities to gain information of the volume under their control.
The law would bring legislation in tune with Supreme Court rulings, including the Public Trust Doctrine, which can end the common law doctrine that has regulated groundwater use since the colonial era in India. The Indian Easements Act of 1882 and other regulations, including the various model bills legislated from time to time, still give landowners complete rights to draw as much water as they want without a liability or responsibility towards neighbouring landowners.
The government intends to hold several rounds of consultations with states, including a meeting of the National Development Council, to ensure there is an early buy-in and worries are addressed.