Right to Clean Water: A Constitutional and Legislative Approach


The book entitled “Water Pollution and its Recent Challenges” embodies pioneer researches delivered and discussed during the two days UGC sponsored National Seminar organized by the University Department of Chemistry, S.K.M. University, Dumka, Jharkhand in April 2011, convened by Dr. Hashmat Ali, on the most burning issue of the day viz. Water Pollution. The seminar was attended by a galaxy of Scientists and Researchers from different part of India.

By far the most serious and ominous problem the world is facing today is the problem of water pollution. In spite of adopting various measures I existence so far to check the pollution, the situation is worsening in its complexity day by day due to rapid industrialization, urbanization and exponential growth in the population. Moreover, reckless exploitation of water recourses to meet the growing demands without paying heed towards sustainability factors has deteriorated the situation furthermore.

Ms. Poonam (Kulshreshtha), my younger sister was one of the contributors in the seminar. She is Law Graduate from Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh and did her Master also from same University. She has qualified UGC – NET in Law. Presently, she is a Research Scholar at University of Allahabad. She is doing her Research in Intellectual Property Laws.

Her paper “Right to Clean Water: A Constitutional and Legislative Approach” was presented under guidance of Prof. H N Tiwari, Ex – Dean and Head, Faculty of Law, University of Allahabad. Here is the abstract are abstracts of the research paper:

“In ancient time our ancestor gave an important place to environment. Worship of nature – sun, moon, earth, air, water, tree and river etc was not merely primitive man’s response to the fear of unknown but arose from the deep reverence shown to the forces of nature which sustained and preserved human life on earth. One of the description of water is “jeewan” means life.

Indian constitution does not specifically mention “Right to Water” as a fundamental right. Nevertheless right to life as provided under Article 21 of the constitution contain right to water as fundamental right. The Supreme Court in Subhash Kumar v State of Bihar had held that the right under Article 21 includes the right to environment of pollution free water. Article 48A as directive principles and Article 51A(g) as fundamental duty has been incorporated in the constitution in order to protect environment. A number of statues such as the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, the Water (prevention and Control of pollution) Cess Act 1977, the environment Protection Act 1986 and rules frame there under la down the guidelines for maintenance of water quality as well as for conservation of water. Since water is used for multifarious purposes it is an important component which falls within the domain of sustainable development and in order to preserve and protect it the polluter pays, precautionary principle and public trust plays significant role. In addition to water Act and environment Act, constitution and IPC also lays down principles for preservation of water, i.e. Section 277 of IPC.

In this chapter an attempt is made to examine the legal aspect relating to water especially clean water which is most sacared commodity and large number of Indian populations are not in a position to secure safe drinking water and this is a regrettable thing in a welfare state.”

Her full – length research paper has been published in a book “Water Pollution and its Recent Challenges”, edited by Sh. Hashmat Ali, published by Daya Publication House, 4760 – 61/23, Ansari Road, New Delhi – 110002 ISBN 978-81-7035-788-9 Rs.1100/- (US$55)

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One response to “Right to Clean Water: A Constitutional and Legislative Approach

  1. Pingback: मेरी छोटी बहन पूनम : एक श्रृद्धांजलि « गहराना

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