The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeking to amend the Inter State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 for effective and time-bound water disputes’ resolution between states has been introduced in the Lok Sabha, PTI has reported.
“There are nine (separate) tribunals (to adjudicate water disputes). Four of the tribunals took 10 to 28 years to deliver their award. There is no timeframe to adjudicate disputes and tribunals were extended indefinitely,” Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said in support of the amendment bill.
Water and river sharing disputes between several states have stretched out for years with demonstrations and bandhs over several such disputes across the country occurring frequently.
The minister also said that consultations with states was held in 2013 and a draft bill was brought in 2017. The draft however lapsed with the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha.
The amendment will pave the way for a single tribunal headed by a Supreme Court judge with several benches across the country. New benches will be formed as and when requirement arises and will be wound up after the resolution.
As of now, tribunals over water disputes are setup when a state government approaches the Centre and the Centre is convinced of the need.
The amendment also proposes a fixed time-frame of two years for resolutions with the verdict getting automatically notified after its passed by the tribunal.
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