New Delhi: Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat, who assumed charge of the ministry on Tuesday, said his main priority would be implementation of the National Water Policy in coordination with the states and speed up programmes delayed due to environmental and other concerns.
     
But Rawat did not make any mention of the pressing concerns of his ministry with regard to the Cauvery Water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, as well as the problems with Pakistan over Kishanganga and with Bangladesh over Teesta river water sharing.
     
"My first responsibility will be implementation of the National Water Policy which has been approved by the Parliamentary Committee. A meeting of the Inter-State Council will be held soon to sort out the complexities due to concerns of various states. A big challenge is how to coordinate with states on the complexities," Rawat told reporters soon after taking charge.
    
He maintained that he would work towards developing a mechanism through which the issues can be sorted out in a time bound manner. Legislations would also be passed where required to ensure this, he added.
     
On the issue of inter-linking of rivers, Rawat said he will look into the proposals which have come from various states and how environmental and other constraints can be dealt with.
     
He emphasized on the need for creating more awareness about aquifer mapping, presence of arsenic in underground water, over exploitation of water resource, pollution of water and recurring floods.

(Agencies)

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