BHOPAL: State government is now working on softening the provisions of its initiative, which aims to bring the first Right to Water Act in India.
Some of the strict provisions of the draft act are now being removed after objections of various departments.
The draft had penal provisions for in case minimum quantity of water is not supplied to the consumers. It also fixes responsibilities of officers concerned in cases like farmers not getting water for agriculture.
Penal provisions were also proposed for provisions related to supply of drinking water, gram panchayats and local bodies among others.
The water resources department registered its protest on penal provisions against the officers.
Department of urban development is also against the penal provisions. It maintains that no government servant would be able to work if such an Act comes into force.
Besides Narmada Valley development authority registered objections on penal provisions.
The Act, in the new form, will have provisions for reward for good work but now it will not have penal provisions. The government maintains that Act should not have any negative element unless all arrangements are in place.
The departments are concerned as to how arrangements would be made for water supply where agriculture is dependent on rains.
The provisions related to recycling of rain water and drinking water are being made in the Act.
The deadline of the Act, which was supposed to be prepared by November 15 has been extended by a month. Panchayat and rural development department, additional chief secretary, Gauri Singh is to coordinate with other departments.
3 major areas of suggestions: The experts have given three suggestions on Right to Water Act. In its report, they have said that the state does not have Snow Mountains and it has to do a lot of work in forests. They have given suggestions on river belt also. There are several suggestions on irrigation so that water arrangements could be made for farmers.
Every aspect being checked to prepare Act: Shukla
Public health engineering department, principal secretary, Sanjay Shukla, who is preparing the Act, said every aspect is being considered in preparing the Act. HE said the provisions of motivation are given precedence over negative provisions. He said MP is the first state to prepare such an extensive Act. So all suggestions would be incorporated in its making.
Expert panel: A committee of water experts was constituted to prepare the provisions of the Right to Water Act by the state government. The committee has Mihir Shah, former member, Planning Commission, Govt. of India, waterman Rajendra Singh as its members along with other experts. Shukla prepared the draft after receiving suggestions given by expert committee.
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