New Delhi: The government seems to be having a rethink on putting water in the Concurrent List of the Constitution, a year after it told a Parliamentary panel that it supported such a move to settle inter-state feuds.
Minister of State for Water Resources Vincent H Pala told Lok Sabha that the Centre had no plans to bring water in the Concurrent List.
Water at present is a state subject.
In a written reply on Thursday, the ministry said "no" to a question whether the Union government is considering bringing water in the Concurrent List to resolve inter-state disputes amicably.
The reply of the government is in contrast to its stand taken before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Water Resources last year that "it (water) should be brought under the Union List; if not in the Union List, at least in the Concurrent List".
The report of the Committee had quoted an unnamed Water Resources Ministry representative as saying so. The Ministry official was asked to comment on the "desirability" of effecting constitutional amendment with regard to water which figures in the State List (entry 17), Seventh Schedule of the Constitution.
"The Committee was informed by the Ministry that states are having a lot of feuds on the issue of water. The Ministry tries to resolve the disputes as per the existing mechanism, (but) still are unable to resolve the disputes among the states," the report had said.
The Parliamentary panel, looking into the issue of depleting ground water levels, had urged the Centre to build national consensus on putting water in either the Union List or Concurrent List so that a comprehensive plan can be prepared for water conservation.
Amid inter-state disputes on water sharing, members of the Consultative Committee on Water Resources had last month supported the idea of putting water in the Concurrent List to help the Centre to have a greater say in settling feuds. There was "near unanimity" among members on the issue.


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