Problematic solution

Published: Sunday 15 July 2001

a proposal to declare water as a national asset to ensure proper utilisation of various water resources has been rejected by many non-governmental organisations ( ngo s). The proposal was made by Kamla Denival, Rajasthan's minister of irrigation. She suggested that a national water reserve should be set up to deal with the water scarcity problem in different states. The ngo s say that such a reserve would result in more centralisation of water management, thus discouraging grassroot level initiatives of managing water resources. "The proposal is a sign of bankruptcy in the political think-tank," said Rajendra Singh, secretary of Tarun Bharat Sangh, a Rajasthan-based ngo. Ramaswamy Iyer, a visiting professor at the New Delhi-based Centre for Policy Research, alleges that water is essentially a state subject and any attempt to bring it under the purview of the Union government has no meaning.

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