By Shashank Shekhar Shukla, Banaras Hindu University, Uttar Pradesh.
“Water is the most critical resource issue of our lifetime and our children’s lifetime. The health of our waters is the principal measure of how we live on the land.”
Our Constitution contains several provisions regarding water. Water is a State subject covered under the seventh schedule of our Constitution. Article 51A(g) provides that it will be a fundamental duty of every Indian citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including lakes and rivers. Article 39(b) of the Constitution casts a duty on the State to direct its policy towards ensuring that the “ownership and control of the material resources of the community are so distributed as best to subserve the common good”. Article 47 provides that improvement in public health will be the duty of the State. Our Supreme Court has declared the right to access to clean water as part of the fundamental rights under Article 21. (more…)