For the best experience, open
https://m.nenow.in
on your mobile browser.
Advertisement

NEWMA awaits PMO clearance to secure water rights from China for Northeast India

11:36 PM Jul 07, 2024 IST | NE NOW NEWS
UpdateAt: 04:39 PM Jul 08, 2024 IST
newma awaits pmo clearance to secure water rights from china for northeast india
NEWMA awaits PMO clearance to secure water rights from China
Advertisement

GUWAHATI: The establishment of NEWMA is crucial for managing water resources in the Northeast, especially in light of regional challenges and international considerations.

The proposal's focus on securing prior user rights on water from rivers originating in China underscores the strategic importance of water management in the region.

Advertisement Advertisement

There's progress being made towards finalizing the NEWMA bill, which is a positive development. Once it's cleared by the PMO and subsequently tabled in the Union Cabinet and Parliament, it will pave the way for establishing NEWMA and addressing water management issues effectively. This step seems critical given the strategic importance of water resources originating from China for the region.

“The Bill is ready. It will be cleared by the PMO soon after which it will be tabled in the Union Cabinet and subsequently in the Parliament,” said a senior official of Brahmaputra Board.

Also Read: Assam: Rare Serow spotted in Raimona National Park for first time

“I hope this bill will be introduced in the Parliament in the next session. Water being the state’s subject a lot of discussion is needed with the multi-stakeholders. The concern of the state is also a matter,” the official said.

“The Bill is ready. It will be cleared by the PMO soon after which it will be tabled in the Union Cabinet and subsequently in the Parliament,” he said.

“I hope this bill will be introduced in the Parliament in the next session. Water being the state’s subject a lot of discussion is needed with the multi-stakeholders. The concern of the state is also a matter,” the official added.

The establishment of NEWMA with its broad mandate reflects a comprehensive approach to managing various aspects of water resources in the Northeast, including hydropower, agriculture, biodiversity conservation, flood control, inland water transport, forestry, fishery, and eco-tourism. The emphasis on securing prior user rights on water from rivers originating in China underscores the strategic importance of water management in the region's geopolitical context.

This initiative could potentially enhance India's ability to manage water resources effectively, ensure sustainable development, and address challenges related to water security. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds and impacts the region's development and environmental management efforts.

The establishment of the High Power Committee in 2017 underscores the urgent need to address flood-related challenges in the Northeast through improved water management strategies. Collaborating with NITI Aayog highlights the government's efforts to optimize water resources for sustainable development in the region.

India's push to establish prior user rights on water from rivers originating in China reflects strategic planning to expedite development projects in the Northeast, crucial for infrastructure and socio-economic progress. The partnership with Japan through the India-Japan Coordination Forum further emphasizes international collaboration in enhancing Northeast India's infrastructure.

These initiatives together aim to bolster regional development, improve resilience against natural disasters like floods, and promote sustainable growth in the Northeast.

Also Read: Assam: IFS officer Muanthang Tungnung suspended for disobeying transfer orders

The inclusion of chief secretaries from all eight Northeastern states, along with Sikkim, in the High Power Committee demonstrates a collaborative approach to regional development and disaster management. By involving key officials from ministries such as DoNER, power, water resources, river development, and Ganga rejuvenation, as well as from NDMA, border management, and space, the committee ensures a comprehensive strategy to optimize water resources and address flood-related challenges.

This multi-agency approach aims to foster coordination among states and central government bodies, enhancing the effectiveness of policies and projects aimed at sustainable development and disaster resilience in the Northeast. Such concerted efforts are crucial for implementing long-term solutions and promoting holistic development across the region.

The proposed establishment of NEWMA holds significant promise for addressing Assam's persistent challenges of floods and erosion. By integrating the management of the Brahmaputra and Barak River Basin as a unified system, the draft NEWMA bill emphasizes ecologically sustainable practices. This approach treats the river basins as community resources under the public trust doctrine, aiming to ensure food security, support livelihoods, and promote equitable and sustainable development across the basin states.

If implemented effectively, this framework could lead to coordinated efforts in flood control, erosion mitigation, and overall water resource management, benefiting both rural and urban communities in Assam and beyond. It represents a holistic approach to managing water resources that takes into account environmental, social, and economic dimensions for long-term resilience and development.

The proposed provisions for NEWMA highlight a structured approach to equitable and sustainable water management across inter-state river basins in the North East. The emphasis on developing, managing, and regulating water resources in a sustainable manner within each state's territory, based on a river basin Master Plan, underscores the importance of integrated planning and cooperation among basin states.

Prioritizing demand management of water aims to optimize its use, enhance efficiency, and maximize its socioeconomic benefits, reflecting a forward-looking approach to water resource governance. This approach is crucial for addressing challenges such as water scarcity and ensuring the long-term sustainability of water resources.

The two-tier governance structure of NEWMA, with a Governing Council chaired by the Union Minister of Jal Shakti and an Executive Board chaired by the CEO, ensures strategic oversight and operational effectiveness. The involvement of NITI Aayog in the council's co-chairmanship further integrates national development goals with regional water management priorities, fostering comprehensive and coordinated efforts towards sustainable development in the Northeast.

The proposed establishment of NEWMA for the integrated management of water resources across the Northeast region, including Sikkim and parts of West Bengal within the Brahmaputra basin, marks a significant step towards addressing regional water management challenges comprehensively.

The consultation process involving state governments, central ministries, and NITI Aayog underscores the collaborative approach taken to develop the draft bill. While specific details of these consultations may not be publicly available, their inclusion ensures that the perspectives and expertise of stakeholders at various levels are considered in shaping the authority's framework.

For experts and stakeholders, articulating a nuanced view would depend on accessing comprehensive information about the proposed structure, functions, and operational mechanisms of NEWMA. This would allow for a thorough assessment of how effectively the authority can achieve its goals of sustainable water management, equitable resource allocation, and addressing regional water-related issues like floods and erosion in the Northeast.

Bhaskar Sarma, Chief Engineer of the Water Resource Department in Assam, emphasized the potential of NEWMA to offer holistic solutions to water-related challenges in Assam and the Northeast through improved coordination between the states and the Centre.

Sarma highlighted the region's critical situation of fluctuating water availability, with either too much or too little water at different times. He noted that with the formation of NEWMA, states would engage more with the Centre to address such issues and improve water resource utilization.

Sarma also pointed out the necessity of sharing hydrological data during the monsoon season to better prepare for floods and other water-related disasters. He expressed optimism that NEWMA would provide a new direction for water resource management in the Northeast.

Advertisement