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Water Management Issues

Mains-GS3-Economic Development

1. NITI Aayog released the ‘Strategy for New India @75’ document which defines clear objectives for 2022-23.

2. The strategy for water resources is proposed in this document. But, it is unrealistic as the successive National Water Policies (NWP).

Which are the components of effective strategic planning?

1. Effective strategic planning must satisfy three essential requirements.

a) Acknowledge and analyze past failures

b) Suggest realistic and implementable goals

c) Implementation of the goals within the time frame.

2. The ‘strategy’ for water proposed by the NITI Aayog fails on all three counts.

What are the concerns?

1. Lack of analysis

a) The document reiterates two failed ideas i.e. adopting an integrated river basin management approach and setting up river basin organizations (RBOs) for major basins.

b) It proposes setting up of the water resources regulatory authority. But, the failures of other such authorities haven’t been analyzed properly.

c) It recommends to complete command area development (CAD) works to reduce the huge gap between irrigation potential created and utilized.

d) But the reason for the incompleteness of other CAD works is not analyzed.

2. Goals enlisted in the document are over-ambitious and unrealistic particularly, for a five-year frame.

3. It fails to identify real constraints. For example, it notes that the various on-going projects need to be completed within the time frame.

4. The major roadblock in completion of these projects, that is public interest litigations filed in the National Green Tribunal, the Supreme Court, the High Courts, are ignored.

How to improve the situation?

1. India’s water problems can be solved with existing knowledge, technology, and available funds.

2. However, India’s water establishment needs to rethink the existing strategies and come up with a realistic vision.

3. There is a need to specify who will be responsible and accountable for achieving specific goals.

Source- The Hindu