NEW DELHI: Aiming for a speedy resolution of interstate water disputes, the Union Cabinet in its meeting on Wednesday chaired by PM Narendra Modi approved a legislative proposal seeking to establish a single tribunal with mandate to award verdict within two years. The proposed tribunal could have benches in states.
Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javdekar said the Cabinet approval would address the endless spate of interstate disputes over water sharing. “The Cabinet has taken a historic decision today to address the issue of interstate water disputes. There have been some of the disputes lingering on for about 27 years, 17 years and even 10 years,” he said.
‘The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for adjudication of disputes relating to water of inter-State rivers and river valley thereof would pave way for speedy resolutions of disputes. The single tribunal will have to award verdict in two years’ time. This would replace multiple tribunals currently existing for a number of disputes.” The Bill seeks to amend the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 with a view to making the present institutional architecture robust.
The single tribunal will subsume the existing nine tribunals, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said. As of now, it takes between 17 and 27 years for a tribunal to resolve a dispute, the minister quipped. For example, the Cauvery tribunal took decades to take its call. The single tribunal will be mandated to deliver the final award within two years, Javadekar said.
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