Issue Date: Mar 15, 2007
Call it is one of the unknown Indian ironies. Over many years, the Indian state, through its public irrigation agencies, has systematically taken over the management of surface water systems. It has taken over the job of building irrigation systems--dams, reservoirs and canals--then maintaining these and supplying water. This has meant that over the years it has taken over water resources from the hands of village communities. The irony is that even as the state has vested this power in itself, people have taken water under their control.