Parliamentary Panel on Latur Water Crisis

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development in its report has said that practically no city in India gets sufficient water to meet the needs of city dwellers and the Ministry of Urban Development and state governments must step in and provide immediate relief measures.

It says that Latur in Maharashtra has water supply once in a month, the Centre has neither any separate plan to address the water problem nor has the city been included under Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) despite having a population for over 3 lakh.

The panel recommended that Latur and other water-scarce cities be included under AMRUT with the provision of special funding for them.

It also expressed concern about eight states being declared drought affected during the current year.

The model building bylaws 2016 brought out by the Ministry has a separate chapter on rain water harvesting which has recommended the establishment of a rain water harvesting cell at the urban local body.

However, the committee was surprised to note that the Ministry has not engaged in appointing any agency for assessing the availability and extraction of ground water.

Report says that they have not institutionalised any central system of documentation on harvesting of rain water in Delhi and other metros but only issued advisory.

It says that the government should also engage an agency for assessing the availability and extraction of ground water in urban areas on a priority basis.

The committee also urged the government that the installation of rain water harvesting system should be made compulsory in all future projects to be financed by the Centre, state government attached offices and PSUs.