The Groundwater Management in Agricultural Activities Bill, 2018' was passed by parliament on Sunday, aiming to reduce the wastage of water and ensuring well-planned use of groundwater.
Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury moved the Bill and it was passed by voice vote, which is also aimed at ensuring the best possible use of water and its management for continuing the trend of agriculture development in the country, reports UNB.
The proposed law empowers the Upazila Parishad as the local government body responsible for forming and supervising Upazila Irrigation Committees (UIC).
After conducting field inspections, the UIC will provide licences among the interested and qualified farmers (non-farmers will be eligible to apply) in exchange for a fee that is yet to be determined.
Once the law comes into effect, the penalty for unlicensed use of groundwater will be a maximum Tk 10,000 fine, and in default to pay it will invite 7 days in jail.