SRINAGAR: The state government on Wednesday constituted a six-member cabinet sub-committee headed by deputy chief minister Dr Nirmal Singh to examine the proposal regarding adoption of State Water Policy.
The members include minister of rural development, panchayati raj, law and parliamentary affairs (Abdul Haq Khan), Minister for forests, ecology and environment (Lal Singh), Minister for Social Welfare, ARI, and Training and Science Technology (Sajjad Gani Lone), Minister for Finance, Labour & employment (Haseeb Drabu) and Minister for PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control (Sham Lal Chaudhary).
“The Cabinet Sub-Committee shall be serviced by the Public Health Engineering, I&FC Department and shall submit its report within a period of one month,” a government order issued here reads. The State had enacted Jammu and Kashmir State Water Resources (Regulation and Management) Act for regulating water resources, ensuring judicious, equitable and sustainable management, allocation and utilization of water resources and fixing the rates for use of water in 2010.
In terms of Section 4 of the Act, the Government was required, from time to time, to prepare the State Water Policy and Plan for the development, management, planning, utilization and monitoring of water resources in the state keeping in view several objectives laid down in the legislation. However, for seven years there was absolutely no focus on this vital aspect of the law. Moreover, several times the high court even reprimanded the authorities of the department for adopting dilly-dallying approach in handling the vital issue despite issuance of directions and on last date of hearing the commissioner/secretary of the department had to tender unconditional apology.