Tamil Nadu has no control over water, says CAG

Tamil Nadu, which depends on neighbouring Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh for water resources, does not have effective control over surface water and withdrawal of ground water since its State Water Policy was not revised in line with the National Water Policy, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) said in its latest report here.

“In absence of a revised State Water Policy with legal framework, the Public Works Department (PWD), which is the nodal agency of maintaining water resources, did not have effective control over surface water and withdrawal of ground water,”the CAG pointed out.

The audit noticed that Tamil Nadu State Water Policy was formulated in 1994 based on the National Water Policy, which was  updated and adopted by National Water Resources Council in April 2002.

Tamil Nadu is yet to revise the policy even after a committee was constituted to submit draft State Water Policy to focus on development, conservation, utilisation and management of water resources.

In addition, rules and regulations were not framed to protect ground water resources against over exploitation, the report said, adding that observation wells maintained for monitoring ground water were also far below prescribed standards.

“Moreover, hydrological and meteorological data available with PWD for effective planning was also deficient”, the report said.

Ineffective planning and delay in implementing of various schemes defeated intended objective of improving irrigation potential, the report said adding that an amount of Rs 505.61 crore was locked in 16 incomplete projects ranging from one year to eight year.

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