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Govt all set to infuse new lease of life in defunct Water Resources Authority

Jain, Sonali, Angurana being considered for post of Chairperson

Efforts to be made to appoint all 3 members
Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Aug 12: Following much criticism from different quarters over its dilly-dallying approach in filling up vacancies in Jammu and Kashmir State Water Resources Regulatory Authority, the Government is all set to infuse new lease of life in this vital body, which is lying defunct during the past nearly two years, and senior serving IAS officer Parmod Jain and former IAS officers Sonali Kumar and A K Angurana are being considered for the post of Chairperson.
The J&K Water Resources Regulatory Authority was constituted vide SRO No. 339 dated October 15, 2012 under Section 139 of J&K Water Resources (Management and Regulation) Act, 2010 for regulating water resources, ensuring judicious, equitable and sustainable management, allocation and utilization of water resources and fixing rates for use of water etc.
Former Chief Secretary of the State, S S Kapur was appointed as the first Chairperson of J&K State Water Resources Regulatory Authority for a period of three years with effect from October 18, 2012 while as Vijay Abrol, former Chief Engineer of Public Health Engineering and Abdul Rashid Tak, former Executive Director, J&K State Power Development Corporation were appointed Members of the Authority also on October 18, 2012. However, the third post of Member in the Authority was kept vacant for unknown reasons.
The Chairperson as well as both the Members of the Authority relinquished the offices on October 18, 2015 following completion of their three years term and since then the Authority is lying defunct because of the non-serious approach of the Government despite the fact that it has very important role to play for effective management and regulation of vast water resources in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The dilly-dallying approach of the Government invited sharp criticism from various quarters including from the High Court, which is laying thrust on preparation of first ever J&K State Water Policy and Plan. This exercise is also the exclusive domain of J&K Water Resources Regulatory Authority”, official sources said.
Now, after nearly two years the Government has woken up from the deep slumber on the vital issue and has completed the exercise to pave the way for appointment of new Chairperson and Members of the Authority, official sources told EXCELSIOR, adding Selection Committee comprising of Chief Secretary, Administrative Secretaries of PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control, Planning and Development, Finance and Law Departments, which met recently prepared two separate panels of the probables for the posts of Chairperson and Members of the Water Resources Regulatory Authority.
“Serving IAS officer Parmod Jain and retired IAS officers Sonali Kumar and A K Angurana are being considered for the post of Chairperson of the Water Resources Regulatory Authority”, sources said while disclosing that these persons fulfill the criteria laid down in J&K Water Resources (Management and Regulation) Act, 2010 for appointment as Chairperson of the Authority.
About the names to be considered for the posts of Members of the Authority, sources said, “the Selection Committee headed by Chief Secretary has proposed several names which include Ravi Magotra, former Director General Accounts and Treasuries, Chief Engineer RTIC H C Jerath, former Chief Engineers, Sushil Aima, Javed Jaffar and M M Lankar etc”.
The Act states: The Chairperson shall be appointed from amongst the persons who are holding or have held a post not below the rank of Principal Secretary to Government and have adequate knowledge of, or experience in, or have shown capacity in dealing with problems relating to engineering, finance, commerce, economics, law, administration and management.
The Act further States: The Members of the Authority shall be persons of ability, integrity and standing who have adequate knowledge of, or experience in, or have shown capacity in dealing with problems relating to engineering, finance, commerce, economics, law or management. At least one member shall be from amongst the persons who are holding or have held a post not below the rank of Chief Engineer and having qualification and experience in the field of Hydraulic Engineering.
The Government will try to appoint all the three Members as the Act states that Authority shall consist of a Chairperson and not more than three Members, sources said, adding a formal proposal vis-à-vis infusing new lease of life in the Water Resources Regulatory Authority by appointing Chairperson and Members was placed before the State Cabinet in its recent meeting but the same was deferred on the request of some Ministers.
“In the next Cabinet meeting, Government will try to clear the proposal”, sources said.

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