Review of the Draft Rajasthan Lake Authority Bill 2013

The draft Bill can be requested from the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing, Government of Rajasthan. The draft Bill through discussion at the state assembly may be amended into an ‘Act’. Following is broad review of the draft Bill. For detail review by the author, you may ask the author at: mansee@edc.org.in.

  1. The title should be changed to: The Rajasthan Lake Governance Bill, 2013. A crucial strategy to move on to the Governance from Management and Authority.
  2. The Act may be called the Rajasthan Lake Governance Act, 2013.
  3. The term ‘Governance’ encompasses management, administration and maintenance. Governance also looks at restoration and redevelopment of the lake.
  4. The body formed may be called the Rajasthan Lake Governance Board/ Committee.
  5. The term ‘Authority’ in the entire document be replaced with Board/ Committee to align it with the governance approach.
  6. Besides, the lake size as the criteria, provision should be there to consider smaller lakes (10-3 hectares) that are under stress and require specific attention. Should also outline if Wetlands are part of this Act.
  7. The Act should also spell out the consideration of the lake system. The lake system comprising of the lake, the shoreline, the promenade, and the catchment.
  8. Not clear if through the Act is a step further to the formation of the state level Lake Protection bodies under the NLCP.
  9. Also not clear if the Lake Managers (urban local bodies) will have more ‘power’ than before to work on and with the urban lakes.
  10. As many of us are aware that the conditions of the lakes today are primarily the results of poor Urban and Infrastructure Planning or No Planning. Wondering if there can be a provision to bring in the approvals of the Development Plans and Local Area Plans also through this Act, for example in the Netherlands the Spatial Plans need approval from the Dutch Water Board.

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