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

Published: July 25, 2019

The Central Government is planning to introduce a new bill, Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to accelerate the pace of the settlement of inter-state water disputes.

What is the bill?

  • The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019 aims to amend the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956.
  • The passage of this bill will streamline the resolution of inter-State river water disputes in the country.
  • The bill supports the constitution of a single water disputes resolution tribunal headed by a retired justice of the Supreme Court which will have different benches.
  • All Benches will have a strict timeline for adjudication.
  • The benches will be formed as and when required and will be folded up once the dispute is resolved.
  • The tribunal will have to deliver a final verdict in two years which will get notified automatically.

What happens currently?

As per the existing provisions of the 1956 Act, a water disputes resolution tribunal is formed on the request made by the State government to the Union government and the Centre happens to concur on the demand of the state that the issue requires the formation of a tribunal.

 

There are 9 Tribunals functioning presently in India. These include those on Cauvery, Mahadayi, Ravi and Beas, Vansadhara and Krishna rivers.

Why is this bill necessary?

The water crisis is only going to deepen and it is necessary for a tribunal to solve the acrimony of the participants before the things snowball out of control. Resolving the dispute on an accelerated timeline would allow the government to avoid bitterness in the states.

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