New Delhi, Oct 30: A permanent tribunal will soon be formed to resolve water disputes between states, new Water Resource Minister Harish Rawat said Tuesday.
“A draft legislation is ready for setting up a permanent water disputes tribunal to resolve water related disputes among states in an expeditious manner,” said Rawat, soon after taking charge of his ministry.
The step comes as disputes over water sharing have been growing, with the Cauvery row between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu being one of the most prominent.
Rawat, elevated to the cabinet minister’s rank Sunday, also said that a fresh date will be sought from the office of the prime minister to convene a meeting of national water resources council to adopt the new national water policy.
Emphasizing the need for water conservation, the minister said the government aimed at achieving the targets of national water mission during the 12th Plan, particularly increasing water efficiency by 20 percent.
Describing the situation of ground water in the country as critical, Rawat said there was a need to develop ground water management mechanism to check its misuse.
“In the 12th Plan, priority will be given to prevent misuse of ground water in the country,” he said.
Rawat added that aquifer mapping being undertaken by the ministry would serve as an important tool in this direction by providing information on availability of ground water in their area.