What are the major challenges towards reaching to a permanent and efficient dispute resolution mechanism for water allocation in interstate rivers? Critically discuss while keeping in focus recent proposal of a single, permanent Tribunal to adjudicate all inter-state river water disputes.

Published: March 14, 2017

Challenges towards reaching a permanent and efficient dispute resolution mechanism

  • Extreme delays in dispute resolution,
  • No further avenue for redress grievances after the dissolution of the tribunal
  • 3 .No permanent institution for implementing tribunal awards
  • Objection of state to implement the award of tribunal as happened in the Cauvery and Krishna dispute
  • Politicization of water dispute by regional parties for vote banks
  • No mechanisms for water allocation in monsoon deficit years, which is most contentions issue between states.
  • Absence of transparent information gathering and sharing of water in rivers, which has posed operational challenges.

To overcome these challenges Union government has proposed single permanent tribunal to adjudicate all inter-state water dispute by subsuming existing tribunals, along with this tribunal, ad hoc Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) would be set up to look after each water dispute case and if state is not satisfied, it can approach the tribunal. The DRC would be dissolved after the giving its award. There is also proposal that tribunal to deliver its verdict in a span of maximum 3 years for faster dispute resolution. The Union government also proposed to set up an agency along with tribunal that will collect and process data on river water potential. Thus this mechanism if well implemented could solve the interstate water disputes considerably; the success of resolving the dispute depends upon the implementation and working of the tribunal to be created.

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