Amraiz Khan Lahore
To conserve and safeguard the water resources in the province, the Punjab cabinet has allowed the Punjab Irrigation Department to promulgate Water Act 2019 in letter and spirit.
This act is in the offing amid severe opposition of industrial giants and political bigwigs who remained busy in abstracting and using water in huge quantities.
Experts are of the view that if this act is promulgated it would have multiple impacts on environmental protection.
For this purpose, a commission would be established to control and manage the surface water, groundwater, water in lakes and reservoirs, other water resources (according to Canal and Drainage Act 1873) and rainwater.
The The commission which will be chaired by the Chief Minister will further appoint underwriters which may be any company, authority, agency, local bodies or Municipal Corporations.
The underwriters would be given the authority regarding provision or water and sewerage services while they would have authority to charge for the services.
For sustainable use of water, particularly groundwater had been a long-overdue matter in the province regarding its pricing and licensing. According to the act, nobody would be allowed to use water without the permission of the commission.
“Commission will be responsible for conserving and allocating effectively all the water resources in Punjab,” the act states.