NATIONAL WATER LAW under consideration

Centre has decided to constitute National Water Framework Act with guiding principles on water laws the States may implement.

Incentives will be given for water projects to states who adopt the Act.

Head of the panel: Former Planning Commission member, Y.K. Alagh

Water Resources Ministry established another panel to amend the River Board act to aid holistic development of water resources with a river basin as a unit. Panel headed by T.S. Doabia. It involves establishing of River Boards, with the Chief Minister or Water Resources/Irrigation Minister as a member, of all basin States for prompt solution of disputes.

So far some of the upper riparian States were against establishment of River board organizations for basin development as they are reluctant to share surplus waters with a lower riparian State.

The proposed framework law will address issues such as amendments to the Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956, the Rivers Board Act and the Easement Law to make groundwater a public property with government in the role of a trustee.

Progress is on to amend Inter-State River Disputes Act to establish a single tribunal with several benches for speedier resolution of disputes in a time-bound manner.

It will facilitate in faster decisions over issues like:

  • Ravi-Beas issue among Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan
  • Mandovi dispute among Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra
  • Krishna river water sharing quarrel among Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh
  • Mullaperiyar Dam dispute b/w Kerala and Tamil Nadu

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