Water, Energy major issues in discussions with CMs

New Delhi: Water and energy, along with infrastructure, emerged as the main topics of discussion during the Plan Panel`s consultation with governments of seven states and one UT of the northern region here on Monday.

The meet also marked the beginning of consultation with states to formulate the Approach Paper for the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17). This comes at a time when the country is looking at raising the average economic growth to 9-9.5 per cent from 8.2 per cent expected in the current Plan.

Briefing mediapersons after the consultation, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said that water and energy issues were among the major items raised by state governments.

"Today`s meeting showed that water and energy, two issues considered important by us, are also on priority list of states," he said.

Ahluwalia said during today`s meeting Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dixit said that she favoured establishment of a Water Regulatory Authority.

"Another CM pointed to water management, groundwater depletion and watershed management. I am happy that the state CMs have called for action to find a solution to the water issue. Energy was also a major issue raised by the states," he said.

The Plan panel chief said states made a large number of suggestions "and we will take them into account when we finally get around (to preparing the Approach Paper)".