Punjab Moves SC for Tribunal to Settle River Water Dispute

Published: 07th February 2015 05:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th February 2015 05:58 AM   |  A+A-


CHANDIGARH:On the directions of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-BJP Government has moved the Supreme Court to issue the necessary direction to the Centre to constitute an appropriate Tribunal under Section 4 of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 and refer to it the disputes raised by the state in its earlier complaint with the Union Government.. Apart from this, Punjab sought “adjudication of the question whether Haryana and Rajasthan are riparian states or not.”

The Punjab government also submitted that it had in its complaint to the Union Government, which was  filed a long time ago, raised a water dispute for constitution of an appropriate Tribunal for reallocation of the Ravi- Beas Waters due to the change in the circumstances which pertains to drastic reduction in the availability of Ravi-Beas waters from 17.17 MAF to 14.37 MAF based on 1981-2002 flow series. The water has got further reduced to 13.38 MAF based on the latest flow series from 1981-2013, alarming reduction in ground water level of Punjab, adverse hydrological & environmental impact  on account of the huge diversion of water to Yamuna basin areas, availability of additional water of 4.65 MAF to Haryana as provided in the Yamuna Agreement of May12, 1994 among Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh. Another reason given in the complaint is that as per ground water estimation of Punjab made by Central Ground Water Board, 110 development blocks out of 138 have been over exploited, on account of the necessity of irrigation due to inadequate availability of surface water. The state government has pleaded that a time limit of one year be fixed under the Inter-State Water Disputes Act for constitution of a Tribunal after a complaint is filed. But even though several years had elapsed  the Centre was yet to initiate any action in this regard. Punjab had been following up its complaint vigorously with the Centre in writing for long. The state also pleaded that all water allocations were subject to review after a period of 20-25 years. Therefore, fresh adjudication.

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