Inter-State Water Disputes Act needs to be amended: K’taka CM

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The Inter-State Water Disputes Act needs to be amended, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Saturday.

Speaking at the southern states’ conclave on the Jal Jeevan Mission and Swachh Bharath Mission (Rural) projects, Bommai said the Act should be amended to overcome the narrow political considerations over water disputes and for making more water available for the people.

River basin management is the only solution for this, he said.

“It is the duty of the government to provide water to the people. We should work with consensus when dealing with issues related to water. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is of the view that sustainable livelihood could be ensured with the supply of water and we should work together to make it a reality,” Bommai said.

The Chief Minister advocated the need for efficient use of water in irrigation.

“There is huge misutilisation of water in irrigation channels. At the national level, only 46 per cent of the capacity is being utilised through these canals. There is a difference of 55 per cent 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 per cent of sweet water flows into the sea to enable 60 per cent saline water to evaporate. This simple truth should be considered while making our plans,” Bommai added.

The Chief Minister also 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 to 25 lakh households in the initial phase. The achievement has been about 18 lakh so far, and the target of 25 lakh would be met within the next few months, he said.

More funds have been provided in the Budget for implementing the project, he said, adding: “I am personally overseeing the project and it would be completed in time.”

“Water resources belong to the state and we have to work with consensus to make good use of them. We have to resolve the problems locally. We have to formulate our projects with an integrated approach,” Bommai added.

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