Govt wants water in concurrent list

With more states crossing swords over sharing river water, the Centre on Friday said it will deliberate on bringing water to the concurrent list.

Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti, who chaired the third edition of ‘Jal Manthan’ to discuss water-related issues on Friday, said her ministry is working on laws for use and better management of water.

“If water is brought under the concurrent list of the Constitution, both the Centre and the states can legislate on it. Right now, the Centre has a neutral role to play in water-sharing disputes. If the subject comes under the concurrent list, then the Government of India will have a more active role,” said an official in the Water Resources Ministry.

While Parliament may amend the Constitution with two-third majority to bring water to the concurrent list, at least half of the states are required to ratify it. This cannot be achieved without consensus of all political parties, an official said.

The Standing Committee on Water Resources recommended earlier that shifting the subject will help evolve a comprehensive plan of action to improve groundwater levels in the country.

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