Gogoi again pitches for regional water panel in northeast

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 28, 2012 17:50 hrs

New Delhi, Dec 28 (IANS) Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi Friday reiterated the need for having a regional water body for the northeast involving high level participation of all the states there to build consensus on water-related issues at political, technical and administrative levels.

Speaking at the 6th meeting of the National Water Resources Council, organized by union water resources ministry here, Gogoi and suggested that the proposed draft policy for National Water Policy should recognizing the need for study, research and capacity building in water-related issues.

"We feel that it is also time to review the functioning of our institutions for water governance, in particular the Inter State River Boards. Such bodies, functioning largely as technical bodies, have not been effective in guiding proper and sustainable conservation, use and management of water resources or in resolving river water disputes," said Gogoi.

"We understand that the central government is now contemplating setting up statutory river basin authorities to replace local institutions and boards for water governance. The Brahmaputra River Valley Authority (BRVA) is also proposed. This would be a welcome step," he added.

The Assam government had earlier supported setting up of the North Eastern Water Resources Authority (NEWRA), but it did not materialize as states like Arunachal Pradesh objected to the proposal, fearing it might deprive the state of its huge water resource potentials.

Gogoi also called for encouraging international cooperation to avoid any measures that are detrimental to the sustainability of the Brahmaputra.

"We must also foster sharing of information amongst the basin countries in mutual interest," he added.

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