Soz calls upon States to adopt rainwater bill

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Bangalore, June 11 (UNI) Union Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz today called upon States, which were yet to adopt the draft Bill on rain water harvesting and recharging of ground water proposed by the Centre, to do so at the earliest.

Inaugurating 'Bhujal Bhawan', the new building of the Central Ground Water Board here, he said conscious efforts were needed to tackle the precarious situation arising out of the depleting water table in many States.

''I strongly argue that we must use surface water to the maximum extent and minimise the use of ground water. Unfortunately, frontline States like Karnataka and Punjab have not adopted the Bill as statute so far. This is wrong. The ground water level in these two States have gone down,'' he said.

Mr Soz said Karnataka had taken up many reforms and should adopt this Bill also. The Union Government would extend all help to Karnataka in harnessing rainwater and conserving ground water.

''I am told that the Bill would be tabled in the Assembly shortly.

I am happy that measures on rainwater harvesting have been made compulsory in public buildings. Karnataka receives above national average of 1,800 mm rain per year and its use should be maximised,'' he said.

The Minister urged the State Governments to ensure that water collected through rainwater harvesting was used for human consumption and not for purposes like gardening.

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