SHILLONG, March 22 � A senior Planning Commission official today said that the Government alone cannot handle the �complex� issues related to water. Water management has to be �de-bureaucratized�, he asserted.
On the occasion of World Water Day, Mihir Shah, Member, Planning Commission of India said that water related issues are complex. �Water and related issues are too complex to be handled by governments alone. Water has to be de-bureaucratised,� he said during the Shillong Water Conclave: Water Equity and Sustainability held at the North Eastern Hill University.
Shah emphasised on having working groups for water management, apart from the Government�s effort and said all government departments must coordinate on water related issues. The official said that in the 12th five year plan there has been a drastic change in water resource management, but more needs to be done.
He said that in the modern context, the status of ground water has assumed great importance, adding, water is not an individual resource, but a community resource.
It is, therefore, imperative to make legal changes in the regime of water use as the present laws are from the Colonial era giving the owner of the land complete control over the use of water present in the land.
He said that laws related to ground water have to change and such resource must fall under the public trust. Shah said that use of technology must be roped in together with policy changes. �It is imperative to form a State Ground Water Committee,� he suggested.
Moreover, Shah was of the view that there is an urgent need to preserve natural springs in an area. �Springs are a vital source of water and must be documented and preserved by protection of catchment areas,� he said.
Shah further said that large dams have limited use as these reservoirs� water does not percolate to the farmers.