Bengaluru. March 5: The Inter-State Water Disputes Act needs to be totally amended, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said.
The Chief Minister in his address at the Southern States’ Conclave of the ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ and Swachh Bharath Mission(Rural) Projects said, the Act should be amended to overcome the narrow political considerations over water disputes and making more water available for the people. River Basin Management is the only solution for this.
Water needed for sustainable life
It is the duty of the government to provide water for the people. We should work with consensus when dealing with issues of water. Our Prime Minister is of the view that sustainable livelihood could be ensured with supply of water and we should work together to make it a reality, Bommai said.
Prevent misuse of water
The Chief Minister advocated the need for efficient use of water in irrigation. There is huge misutilisation of water in irrigation water channels.At the national level only 46% of the capacity is being utilised through these canals. There is a difference of 55% in carrying capacity of the canals. More water could be made available if these canals are upgraded, Bommai said.
There is a view that water is being allowed to go waste to the sea due to lack of proper watershed projects. But we have forgotten the Science of nature. The sea water could evaporate and form rain only if about 30% of sweet water flows into the sea to enable 60% saline water to evaporate. This simple truth should be considered while making our plans, Bommai said.
We are facing environmental challenges. The perennial rivers are turning into seasonal rivers. Rivers are drying up even before reaching the sea, the Chief Minister pointed out.
Jal Jeevan mission: Time bound achievement of targets
The Chief Minister assured relentless efforts for time bound implementation of Jal Jeevan Mission projects in Karnataka. Of the 97.91 lakh rural households, tapped water has to be provided for 25 lakh households in the initial phase. The achievement has been about 18 lakh. The target of 25 lakh would be met within next few months. More funds have been provided in the next budget for implementing the project. “I am personally overseeing the project and it would be completed in time,” Bommai said.
Re-look needed at Water Management
Rural and urban areas lack proper water supply systems. There is a need for a re-look at Water Management. “Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the first Prime Minister who has resolved to solve this problem. He has taken it up as a Mission, not as a project. We need to work on war footing to accomplish this mission,” Bommai said.
Integrated approach for water projects
Water Resources belong to the state and we have to work with consensus to make good use of it. Water is a global and local problem. “We have to resolve the problems locally. Being a developing country we have multiple strata is the society. We have to formulate our project with integrated approach,” Bommai said.
We have an emotional connect with water and coordination among various stake holders is essential for utilisation of our water resources, he said.