Amarinder talks tough on water wastage

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh

Chandigarh,  Taking a tough stance against wastage of water, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday issued a series of directives to ensure conservation of the precious resource, including penalisation of the defaulters of their water bills.

With the state staring at acute water scarcity, the Chief Minister reviewed the situation at the second meeting of the Urban Renewal and Reforms Consultative Group and ordered a virtual war against water wastage.

Besides stricter enforcement of the rules and regulations, Amarinder Singh ordered the departments concerned to suggest amendments, if any, to enforce payment of water dues as a deterrent to those wasting water.

If needed, the state could go for a separate legislation to ensure conservation of water and prevent Punjab from going dry.

He asked the department to decide on installation of meters to check pilferage and wastage of water in large houses in posh localities of the state, an official spokesperson said after the meeting.

Emphasizing the need to create awareness amongst the people about the conservation of water, Amarinder Singh asked both the departments of Local Government and Water Supply and Sanitation to organise special camps to educate the people, especially in rural areas, for sensitizing them about the need for water preservation.

He also appealed to the MLAs to organize mass contact programmes at district, sub division and block levels to mobilize public opinion to save every drop of water.

The Chief Minister also asked the Finance Department to immediately release funds to the tune of Rs 221 crore, under the 14th Finance Commission, to the local government department for execution of development works in the urban local bodies.