Andhra Pradesh water, land and trees act (2002)

The act allows appointment of authority at state, district and mandal level to promote water conservation, enhance tree cover and regulate exploitation of ground and surface water in state

The Andhra Pradesh Water, Land and Trees Act, 2002 repealed the APWALTA Ordinance as well as the AP Ground Water (Regulation for Drinking Water Purposes) Act, 1996. Under this Act an Authority has been constituted at the State, District and Mandal level and administrators for the same were to be appointed.

The modalities for the same appointment of the administrator, terms of office of the nominated members, resignation, removal from authority, allowances, constitution of the District and Mandal authority, meetings of the State, District and Mandal authorities have been worked out.

The functions of the authority have been outlined as -

  • promote water conservation and enhancement of tree cover in the State;
  • regulate the exploitation of ground and surface water in the State;
  • make regulations for the functioning of the authorities at District and Mandal level constituted under the Act;
  • advise the Government on the legislative and administrative measures to be taken from time to time for the conservation of natural resources;
  • advise on economic measures to be taken by the Government as incentives or disincentives relating to taxes, levies, fees or other charges to promote conservation of natural resources;
  • advise on strengthening public participation in conservation of natural resources from time to time in such a way that equity in access to water in different basins, sub-basins and regions in the State is maintained;
  • advise on any other matter that may be referred to it by the Government; and
  • advise the Government on the constitution and functions of the District level and Mandal level Authorities.

The Act was amended for insurance of new agriculture wells and consequently, through G.O. Ms No. 339, PR & RD Dept. dated 06-11-2004, comprehensive Rules-2004 have been brought out for effective implementation of the Act. Another feature of amendment to this Act was the introduction of single window approach for speedy clearance of the applications for new bore wells. For regulating wells in over-exploited areas, a ban has been put on sinking of wells without permission of Authority.

The full text of the act can be downloaded here