Water has become a bone of contention in this country. Either it is in short supply or it is in excessive supply. Mostly because of the tendency of the big dam lobby consisting of engineers, contractors and politicians who are more interested in the huge sums available for scamming from such mega investments rather than in husbanding this vital resource for the benefit of all. Well the Ministry of Water Resources of the Government of India has now put out for public discussion two sets of draft legislations which seek to centralise the management of water even further and thus aggravate instead of solve the problems that have been created -
1. The Draft National Water Framework Bill
2. The Draft River Basin Management Bill
A lively discussion ensued on these documents in the online forum UN Solution Exchange Water Community and the consolidated and detailed report of this discussion can be accessed here.
While most other discussants have pointed out the many flaws in both conception and detailing in these bills my take as an anarchist obviously is that the management of water should primarily be done in a decentralised manner and so such centralising legislations should be thrown out lock stock and barrel!! Below I give an edited and revised version of my own comments in the above discussion -
Being a grassroots water rights activist the question that I want to raise is what is the need for a National Water Framework Bill? The second of the Dublin Principles for water resource management which were first adopted in the Conference on Water and Environment organised in Dublin in 1992 under the aegis of the World Meteorological Organisation and which have since come to be universally accepted, states -