Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will leave for Delhi on Friday on a six-day tour. He will attend the National Water Resources Council meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on October 30. The meeting will deliberate on the draft water policy which proposed far-reaching reforms in the water sector.
The draft water policy was discussed at the meeting of the National Water Board in June followed by state water resources ministers on October 3. Many states have been opposing the pricing of water and privatisation of the water delivery services.
Apprehending infringement of their rights, several states have expressed reservations on the proposal for having an overarching national legal framework as a basis for enacting legislation in water governance.
A water regulatory authority is envisaged in each State to regulate and fix water charges.
The charges will be determined on volumetric basis with Water Users Association given the responsibility to manage the distribution of water.
Considering that the present institutional and legal structures dealing with water in the country inadequate, the Planning Commission recommended the Centre to treat water as community resource.
Conservation of groundwater needs urgent attention as people depend on it for two-thirds of their requirement. The decline in the water table across the country is a matter of serious concern.
The present legal situation gives every land holder the right to pump unlimited quantities of water from a bore well as there is no regulation on groundwater extraction, official sources said.
The Chief Minister is likely to meet a few Union Ministers during his stay in Delhi. He is scheduled to return here on October 31.