IBEF: August 01, 2019
The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed a bill intended to accelerate the goals of long-festering inter-state water disputes by building up a single central tribunal in place of various existing ones.
Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat told Parliament, that interstate River Water Dispute (Amendment) Bill, 2019, pursues the disappointment of existing councils to determine river water disputes in a time bound manner. Of the nine tribunals set up to settle such disputes, just four have given their honors and the time taken to do so ranged from 7 to 28 years,
Heading the rundown of unresolved disputes is the one over the waters of the river Beas, which has been anticipating an honor for 33 years, followed by the Cauvery dispute (29 years). Issues related to other rivers—Krishna, Narmada and Godavari—also continue to rage.
The bill proposes to set up a dispute goals board of experts, headed by a secretary-level officer of the government.
Once a dispute emerges, it would be alluded to this committee, which would have a year to determine it, with an extension of a six months.
The bill was invited by the majority in the House, yet a few members expressed concerns over its execution system, and the process of appointing members and data collection.
According to the bill, the decision of the tribunal would tie on states and have "a similar force as an order of the Supreme Court", but members pointed out that there have been cases when state governments had not compiled with awards, most recently the Cauvery dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Concern was also raised over the centralization of powers to choose such disputes, since the tribunal members would be delegated by the Central government on recommendation of a selection committee comprising the Prime Minister, Chief Justice and Ministers of law and Justice and Jal Shakti.
We will also set up a plan for executing the honor decides by the tribunal. The whole procedure would be finished in a time bound manner. The corrections address all the drawbacks of the current Inter-State River Water Disputes Act of 1956 and streamline the adjudication of such dispute
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