A Comprehensive Techno Legal Water Policy Of India Is Urgently Needed

In a meeting of members of Association For People Of Haryana (AFPOH) in 2019, we discussed about contemporary problems and future potentials of agriculture in India. What we realised from the discussion was that agricultural productivity is continuously becoming affected by multiple factors. We discussed all these factors one by one and also explored supplementary activities that can support and strengthen agriculture in India.

However, one thing caused great cause of concern among the members. It is the lack of water for agriculture purposes and the reducing level of ground water all over India. Members also discussed that not only decreasing water levels but even the quality of water is not good for agriculture purposes. The most important component of agriculture is in severe scarcity and farmers have limited options in this regard.

So how India has reached to this dangerous situation? May be we over exploited the natural resources like water or may be our policies in this regard are not workable. We explored various possibilities to improve the situation and come to the conclusion that urgent action is needed in this regard before it is too late. Clearly we need a new and better Water Policy of India so that water crisis can be managed before it gets out of the hand.

We discussed various traditional and contemporary solutions for water crisis of India way back in 2019. What emerged from this discussion was the need to formulate a Comprehensive Techno Legal Water Policy of India 2019. But till October 2022 Modi govt failed to do so.

We are facing two problems in this regard. First, Indian Government is not very receptive to this idea as for many years it has adopted super conservative approach. Risk taking and taking bold steps is need of the hour and Indian Government has to move out of its conservative shell. Second, even if Government decides to act there is still the implementation problem. Bureaucratic hurdles, lack of performance analysis and missing accountability for non performing individuals/organisation would make this entire exercise futile.

Nevertheless, Perry4Law Organisation (P4LO) and PTLB Projects have already starting working upon the Comprehensive Techno Legal Water Policy of India. We expected the Indian Government to support us in this regard and make this aspect part of its 100 days agenda way back in 2019. But Modi govt failed to take any action even after so many years.

According to Praveen Dalal, founding member of AFPOH, agricultural reforms in India need direct involvement and financial help of Indian Government. Incentives and taxation benefits must be given to farmers and Startups helping farmers in India. The Income Tax Act, 1961 also needs some fine tuning keeping in mind the support we have to extend to agriculture community in India opined Praveen Dalal.

Technology should be used to get best results out of water management practices and for getting best agricultural productivity. Soil testing, water testing, providing best quality seeds and organic fertilizers, etc are some of the aspects that can be part of the Techno Legal Water Policy.

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