The Punjab government will set up a water regulation and development authority (WRDA) for conservation and management of state’s water resources. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has directed the water resources department to immediately finalise the modalities to set up WRDA, an official release said here Saturday.
The proposed authority will be empowered to issue tariff orders for charges to be levied by all entities supplying water for any purpose except agriculture, the release said.
Singh, who reviewed the ground water situation in the state with the chief secretary and officials of the water resources department on Saturday, directed them that the proposal to set up WRDA should be presented before the cabinet, scheduled to meet Monday, for approval, it said.
The authority will have the mandate to fix tariffs after hearing the entities concerned and the public. It will also be empowered to issue directions and guidelines for conservation and management of all the water resources.
However, the government will have the power to issue directions in public interest to the authority. The authority shall be bound to act on such directions, the release said.
Expressing concern over the “depleting water table” in the state, the chief minister said that if immediate steps were not taken for conservation and management of water, many parts of the state would turn into desert in 15 to 20 years.
“We owe this (thrust on water management) to our children and the coming generations,” Singh said.
Referring to his recent visit to Israel, he said he was impressed by their water management and irrigation techniques which transformed the country from a water scarce to a surplus one.