Enumerate the provisions within the institutional architecture of India to resolve inter-state disputes. Assess their effectiveness.
The institutional architecture in India to settle inter-state disputes includes the interstate council, the NITI Aayog and the Supreme Court.
- It is a constitutional body established under article 263, thus well-placed to settle disputes.
- It has solved over 100 disputes within timeframe of one year.
- It lacks a dedicated cadre of officers.
- But infrequent meetings have diluted the effectiveness of this body.
- Further if its secretariat is shifted to Rajya Sabha instead of being under union home Ministry, it would be more effective.
- These statutory bodies set up under States Reorganization Act 1956, have helped settle economic and environmental disputes between states.
- However they suffer from lacunae like lack of impetus from participating states and lack of constitutional status.
- All states have been given the representation in the governing council.
- Though NITI Aayog has spurred cooperative and competitive federalism, it has not facilitated dispute settlement.
- It has exclusive original jurisdiction over inter-state disputes.
- Recently it has solved major disputes like Cauvery water sharing, Sutlej Yamuna Link canal dispute and Mullaperiyar issue.
- But its effectiveness is limited by the pendency of a high order and continuing vacancies in the judiciary.
Apart from strengthening inter-state council, river basin management boards for inter-state river disputes settlement will help to promote cooperation among states.