Upto two years jail for water theft in Gujarat

Upto two years jail for water theft in Gujarat

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The Gujarat government on Friday passed two bills that has made theft of water for both irrigation and drinking a punishable offence that will attract punishment ranging from three months to two years in jail.

The bills "The Gujarat Domestic Water Supply (Protection) Bill 2019" and "The Gujarat Irrigation and Water Discharge Management (Amendment) Bill 2019" cover the theft of irrigation and drinking water.

Gujarat Irrigation and Water Discharge Management (Amendment) bill 2019 has provision for fine up to Rs. 20,000 or six-month jail for those creating obstruction in canal by putting water pumping set or any other equipment. The violation of this provision will attract imprisonment up to one-year imprisonment or Rs 50,000 fine or both. 

In case of diversion of flow of canal or water bodies or creating any obstruction, the offender can get up to 1.5 years of jail or a fine of Rs 1 lakh or both. If a person is found creating a hole in canal and inserting a pipe to draw water, then the person can get up to two years of jail or Rs 2 lakh fine or both.

These provisions have been opposed by the Opposition Congress, who termed it "anti-farmer".