Ground Water Body to submit report on pricing of water : Soz

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New Delhi, Sep 26 (UNI) The Central Ground Water Board (CGWB)has been asked to study the ground water situation in the light of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's advice on putting a price on ground water to prevent overdrawals, Minister for Water Resources Saifuddin Soz said here today.

Asked about the progress on Dr Singh's suggestion, Prof Soz told newspersons that the Planning Commission had already made a study and the Ministry wants the CGWB to submit its report. " Once we get its report, it would be placed before the Cabinet in about a fortnight's time," he added.

The Prime Minister had exhorted the country to adopt a holistic approach to conserve water by pricing the ground water extraction to save vital natural resource and manage the resources through a package of incentives and penalties at the national conference on groundwater recently.

To a question if the Planning Commission had prescribed allowing the farmers to be provided with Rs 6,000 worth of power for ground water drawal, Prof Soz said he had not seen the report but if they had given such a suggestion, it was a welcome step as it would bring in the concept of metering. It is good step not just to bring in discipline but conserving scarce power and water resources. The farmer will not draw water all night and one should welcome such reforms, he said.

To another query if the Government would go ahead with such a politically sensitive issue in the light of talks of a mid-term poll, Prof Soz said he did not foresee any signs of impending elections ahead of schedule."The coalition will last its full term", he added.

UNI

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