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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

'Water Law' on effective tool for resolving water sharing disputes: Expert

'Water Law' on effective tool for resolving water sharing disputes: Expert




Pradeep Purandare, retired associate professor, WALMI, Aurangabad and former Expert Member, Marathwada Development Board today said that the Godavari Marathwada Irrigation Development Corporation (GMIDC) has taken a decision to release water for Jayakwadi from upstream reservoirs. This is not a new decision but is, in fact, based on an order issued by Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) in year 2014. MWRRAs order is a short standing order. It is to be followed every year when there is shortage of water in Jayakwadi project.

In his statement, he said that in view of the strong protest by public and political leaders from Ahmednagar and Nashik district, after decision of 12.84 TMC water was released from upstream dams into Jayakwadi dam of Marathwada under the equitable sharing water act, it is necessary to realise the relevance and importance of this order. "The said order indicates that an implementation of MWRRA Act, 2005 has begun. Precedence is being set. Marathwada needs such a legal support and precedence very badly for getting its due share of water. Marathwada is in downstream part of the Upper Godawari basin which is always vulnerable to inequitable distribution of water," he said.

"Moreover," he continued, "Marathwada does not have necessary political clout to somehow bring water from upper reaches. Therefore, Water Law is the only effective tool for Marathwada. To this extent, the said order is a welcome decision. A model is being evolved. Let us develop it further. Timing and volume of water to be released is a debatable issue. How exactly the magic figure of 12.84 TMC is arrived at and what are the assumptions is a matter of detail. It needs to be questioned seriously, discussed openly and improved upon immediately. Last, but not the least, it needs to be realised that water conflict in Upper Godavari basin is not an isolated phenomenon. Such conflicts are increasing everywhere both in number and magnitude. It is high time we implement our water policy and water laws in the truest sense of the term to resolve the conflict amicably. That is one of the civilised ways to address issues related to drought upfront," Mr Purandare added.


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