| Water offenders face
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