Single Tribunal for hear water disputes

Mains Paper 2 : Statutory, Regulatory & Various Quasi-Judicial Bodies |

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Tribunals

Mains level : Interstate water disputes


News

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019

  • The Bill seeks to amend the Inter State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 to streamline the adjudication of inter-state river water disputes.
  • A key feature of the bill is the constitution of a single tribunal with different Benches, and the setting of strict timelines for adjudication.
  • It will help adjudicate disputes relating to waters of inter-State rivers and river valleys.
  • A version of this bill was first introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2017 but subsequently lapsed.

Why need a single tribunal?

  • Any State Government may request under the 1956 Act is for any water dispute on the inter-State rivers.
  • When the Central government is of the opinion that the dispute cannot be settled by negotiations it constitutes a Water Disputes Tribunal for the adjudication.
  • There are about a dozen tribunals that now exist to resolve disputes among States on sharing water from rivers common to them.
  • The standalone tribunal so envisaged will have a permanent establishment and permanent office space and infrastructure so as to obviate with the need to set up a separate Tribunal for each water dispute, a time consuming process.

Dispute Resolution Committee

  • The Bill also proposes a Dispute Resolution Committee set up by the Central Government for amicably resolving inter-State water disputes within 18 months.
  • Any dispute that cannot be settled by negotiations would be referred to the tribunal for its adjudication.
  • The dispute so referred to the tribunal shall be assigned by the chairperson of the tribunal to a Bench of the tribunal for adjudication.
  • The Bill can also affect the composition of the members of various tribunals, and has a provision to have a technical expert as the head of the tribunal.
  • Currently all tribunals are staffed by members of the judiciary, nominated by the Chief Justice.
Water Management – Institutional Reforms, Conservation Efforts, etc.
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