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Lok Sabha takes up bill to set up single water disputes tribunal


ANI Politics
The Lok Sabha on Wednesday took up for consideration a bill that proposes to set up an Inter-State River Water Disputes Tribunal to resolve water disputes in a time-bound manner.
Moving the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for consideration and passage in the Lok Sabha, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said that 99 per cent of the area of 24 identified basins was inter-state and there were water disputes between states during British rule also.
The minister said the Bill provides for the creation of dispute resolution committees to provide an institutional mechanism for states to resolve their disputes before these go to the tribunal.
The committee will be required to give its award in one year with a six-month extension if required.
Referring to nine tribunals set up to resolve inter-state water disputes, he said four have given their awards and the time taken has varied from seven to 28 years. He said the final award of Ravi Beas Tribunal had not come even after over three decades.
The minister said the work on amendments to the bill started in 2013 and the bill was tabled in Parliament in 2017 after which it was referred to the standing committee.
"The present bill incorporates suggestions of the standing committee," he said.
He said while there were disputes between states, there were also 107 documented agreements which had been implemented in good spirit.
The Bill seeks to streamline the adjudication of inter-state river water disputes and make the present institutional architecture robust.
It provides for dissolution of existing tribunals and the water disputes pending adjudication before these existing tribunals will be transferred to the new tribunal.
The single tribunal can have different benches and the decision on a dispute will be required to be made in two years.

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First Published: Jul 31 2019 | 1:37 PM IST

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