‘States must be intimated before dam water release’
It clarified that these directions are issued only in the context of the Disaster Management Act, with a view to forewarn the receiving state or union territory of a possible disaster.
BENGALURU: Consistent with the directions by the Karnataka High court, the Union Government on Monday has ordered that when a decision is taken by a state government, union territory or dam authority to release water from a dam/reservoir, within its limits, it will have to immediately intimate the adjacent/downstream state/UT, so as to mitigate flood damage.
The Union Government placed a copy of the directions issued on August 9 before the division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi, in compliance of the order passed by the court in relation to PIL filed by A Mallikarjuna from Tumakuru.
On July 24, 2020, the bench had directed the National Executive Committee of the National Disaster Management Authority to consider the powers under Section 10 of the Disaster Management Act and issue directions to state governments mandating them to intimate neighbouring states when the need arises.
The directions read, “Whenever a decision is taken by a state, union territory or authority to release water from reservoirs or dams within its limits, an immediate intimation has to be issued to concerned authorities of the neighbouring state/UT.” The Ministry of Jal Shakti also made it clear that the said-decision should be communicated sufficiently in advance.
It clarified that these directions are issued only in the context of the Disaster Management Act, with a view to forewarn the receiving state or union territory of a possible disaster. These directions are not intended at interfering or regulating the rights and liabilities of a state or union territory government with regard to the quantum of water entitlement either as per their claim, or as per the directions of a competent body, tribunal or court, the Ministry of Jal Shakti said in the order.