New Delhi, 07 February 2022: Specific National policy toward protecting natural and man-made step wells, ports, ponds, tanks or lakes is being contemplated. At present, the National Water Policy – 2012 is in effect, which contains provisions regarding conservation of water bodies like rivers, lakes, tanks, ponds etc. The National Water Policy has been sent to all States/ UTs for appropriate action. Further, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) takes up the works as per National Conservation Policy 2014 for renovation and restoration of all the monuments under ASI including natural and man made step wells, ports, pond, tanks or lakes.

 Water being a State subject, steps for augmentation, conservation and efficient management of water resources are primarily undertaken by the respective State Governments. In order to supplement the efforts of the State Governments, Central Government provides technical and financial assistance to them through various schemes and programmes. Central Government has not undertaken any specific study in the country to ascertain the number of step wells, ports, ponds, tanks or lakes which are illegally encroached upon during last one decade.

This Information was given by the Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Bishweswar Tudu in a written  reply in Rajya Sabha today.