Indian 'right to drinking water' law proposed

Children carry water pots filled from a government water supply tank in New Delhi. Many Indians have limited access to clean drinking water.

The right to drinking water may soon be counted as fundamental for all Indians if a bill proposed by the water resources ministry comes to fruition.

Following the same strategy as earlier laws that enshrined the right to information and the right to education, the law would grant citizens the power to sue the government, effectively, for clean water and sanitation, according to the Hindustan Times.

The new policy will force the state governments to ensure safe drinking water access to all in the next few years.

To achieve the goal, the ministry has proposed a national water framework, which will help each state to come up with essential legislation on water governance. The state legislations will have to provide necessary authority to lower tiers of the government to deal with the local water situation, the draft states.

It's an idea that has been kicking around awhile, for good reason. About a third of the population does not have access to clean drinking water and about half has no access to toilets or other sanitation facilities. Partly as a result, a simple health problem like diarrhea ranks among the biggest killers here.