Cabinet Approves Interstate Water Disputes Amendment Bill 2019
The Union Cabinet has approved the Interstate Water Disputes Amendment Bill, 2019. The bill amends the Interstate Water Disputes Act, 1956, and will become a law after it receives the assent of the President. The bill was last amended in the year 2002.
The key changes proposed in the bill are:
- Constitution of a single water disputes tribunal for resolution of interstate water disputes. The tribunal will have different benches throughout India.
- The bill proposes strict timelines for adjudication of disputes which are referred to the tribunal.
- The tribunal will have a permanent establishment and office space.
- The bill proposes establishment of a disputes resolutions committee for carrying out negotiation between states for resolution of water disputes.
The water disputes bill will help in faster resolution of interstate river water disputes which have been marred by delays due to lack of proper infrastructure and complex structural framework involved in setting and running the tribunals.
There were six active river water disputes in India as on December 2018. States have requested constitution of a tribunal for Krishna, Mahanadi, Mahadayi, Ravi, Beas and Vansadhara Rivers.