Punjab cabinet clears draft of ‘Water Resources (Management and Regulation) Bill’
With an aim to ensure judicious, equitable and sustainable utilisation and management of the state’s critical water resources, the Punjab cabinet led by CM Amarinder Singh approved the draft of Punjab Water Resources (Management and Regulation) Bill, 2018.
The proposed Punjab Water Regulation and Development Authority (PWRDA) would have a Chairman, besides two members to be appointed by the state government.
If the bill is passed, the Authority would be empowered to take all such measures as it deems necessary or expedient for the objective for which it is to be set up, and would have powers to issue directions and guidelines for the conservation and management of the water resources.
The Authority would also be empowered to issue tariff orders specifying the charges to be imposed by entities supplying water for drinking, domestic, commercial or industrial use.
The bill further proposes an Advisory Committee on Water Resources, headed by Chairman of the Authority to be notified by the Govt., consisting of experts and ex-officio members from various government departments to advise the Authority.
The Authority may also engage experts on its own. The Authority shall have and maintain a separate fund to be called the PWRDA Fund in which the grants/loans would be credited by the state government.
The bill also proposes to empower the government to issue to the Authority such general or specific directions in writing in the matters of policy involving public interest and the Authority shall be bound to follow and act upon such directs.