| State plans to cut off water to
farmers who have third child
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Mumbai: The state legislative council on Thursday approved the Maharashtra
Water Resources Regulatory bill that imposes restrictions on the number
of children a farmer can have should he wish to avail of irrigation
The proposed Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Act enables the
government to deny irrigation benefits to such farmers who have more
than two children from the date that the act comes into force. However,
it will not apply to those who alr eady have more than two children.
The proposed legislation is the brainchild of minister for water resources
Ajit Pawar, who is the nephew of Union agriculture minister and NCP
chief Sharad Pawar. It is apparently Pawar Jr’s way of checking population
growth in Maharashtra.
The new law also makes it mandatory for farmers from the state to
use drip irrigation, sprinkler irrigation or other measures to help
save water if they intend to avail of irrigation benefits.
Water offenders face imprisonment
Mumbai: The Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory bill was tabled
in the upper house on Thursday along with a report of the joint committee
headed by Ajit Pawar. It will now have to be approved by the lower
house and signed by the governor before it becomes law.
The new law provides for the establishment of a Maharashtra Water
Resources Regulatory Authority to “regulate water resources, facilitate
and ensure judicious, equitable and sustainable management, allocation
and utilisation of water resources, besides fixing rates for use of
water for agriculture, industrial, drinking and other purposes’’.
The new law also provides for imprisonment for its breach. The punishment
may extend to six months and a fine that could extend to tenfold the
annual water charges, for non-compliance of any order or direction
issued under the act.
While the two-child norm was supported in the council by the treasury
benches, Shiv Sena members protested against the rule. Sena member
Diwakar Raote said the bar would affect farmers’ rights to draw irrigation
water.Sen’s Uddhav Thackeray has warned of an agitation if the government
implements the law.
Earlier, the joint committee report tabled in the house by committee
chairman Ajit Pawar said the bill also revised the sequence of use
of water from an irrigation project. Previously, after domestic use,
the other uses sequentially were industrial or commercial, followed
by irrigation and environment. But under the new law, the uses are
domestic, agricultural irrigation, agricultural industry, followed
by industrial or commercial use, the report noted. TNN