Water crisis: Punjab may bring legislation to prevent state from ‘going dry’, says CM Amarinder Singh

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said Thursday the Punjab government could bring a legislation to conserve water and prevent the state from going dry. Chairing a meeting of urban renewal reforms consultative group, he proposed to impose penalty on those who waste water and default on bill payment. He asked government department to suggest amendments to current laws to enforce payment of water dues as a deterrent to those wasting it. If needed, the state could go for a separate legislation to ensure conservation of water and prevent Punjab from going dry, he said according to an official statement. Singh asked the department to decide quickly on installing water meters in posh localities. During the meeting, the possibility of switching to volumetric tariff to stop wastage of water and making the maintenance of water supply\/sewerage sustainable was also discussed. Emphasizing the need to create awareness amongst people about water conservation, the chief minister asked the departments of local government and water supply sanitation to organise special camps, especially in rural areas. The CM asked the finance department to immediately release Rs 221 crore to the Local Government Department to execute development works in urban local bodies.