Put water in Concurrent List,recommends House panel

At a time when Opposition-ruled states are united in accusing the UPA government of trying to usurp the powers of states,MPs cutting across party lines in a parliamentary panel have unanimously

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi | Published: July 13, 2012 2:18 am

At a time when Opposition-ruled states are united in accusing the UPA government of trying to usurp the powers of states,MPs cutting across party lines in a parliamentary panel have unanimously recommended that ‘water’ as a subject must be put in the Concurrent List. Currently,water is a state subject.

The recommendation by the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of Water Resources will strengthen the Centre’s long-standing argument that water should be brought under the Concurrent List,if not in the Union List. Such a move,the government feels,would go a long way in addressing inter-state water disputes and dealing with issues like inter-linking of rivers.

“We have unanimously recommended that water must be a subject included in the Concurrent List. Because,the division of authority often leads to dilution of responsibility and ineffective coordination which results in not proper,efficient and equitable management of water,” BJP Rajya Sabha MP Gyan Prakash Pilania,who is a member of the committee,told The Indian Express.

Elaborating,he said water was a national resource and states cannot lay exclusive claim over it. The recommendation was significant as it comes at a time when federalism and the demand for more powers to the states have emerged as a common thread uniting opposition parties and the states ruled by them.

When asked whether the suggestion would not run contrary to the states’ wish to have more powers,Pilania said the “members of the committee also belong to the states” and pointed out many subjects which were earlier in the State List have come under the Concurrent List in the last 60 years “when it was felt necessary”.

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