Wells in command areas should be taxed: Experts

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Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 13 (UNI) Expressing concern over the fast depleting ground water level, experts have recommended wells in command areas of irrigation projects be charged/taxed and brought under the jurisdiction or purview of Water User Associations.

However, water for drinking and domestic use from the wells should be exempted. The recommendations were made at National Workshop on Participatory Irrigation Management which concluded yesterday.

It also felt the need for integrating minor water bodies like tanks and water conservation through watershed development.

The integration of both local and exogenous water for maximising the water level was also recommended.

The workshop felt while using water for irrigation, it should also be made available for other livelihood activities.

Water for drinking, domestic and livelihood activities could be given at an affordable cost, especially to meet operation and maintenance costs.

The role played by the Agriculture Departments in most of the states in the management of irrigated agriculture was not sufficient.

The governments should propagate group farming as fragmentation and sub-division of agricultural land was fast increasing.

The Workshop was organised by the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) with the support of the Central Ministry of Water Resources.

About 60 officials from 11 states participated in the two-day workshop where 15 papers were presented.

UNI

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