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Current Affairs

Inter- State River Water Dispute (Amendment) Bill

Date: 01 August 2019 Tags: Bills & Laws

Context: The bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha on Wednesday (31/07/2019).

Main Provisions of the bill:

  • It amends the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956. 
  • The Act provides for the adjudication of disputes relating to waters of inter-state rivers and river valleys. 

Resolution of dispute:

  • A state government may request the central government to refer an inter-state river dispute to a Tribunal for adjudication

Disputes Resolution Committee:

  • When a state puts in a request regarding any water dispute, the central government will set up a Disputes Resolution Committee (DRC), to resolve the dispute amicably. 
  • The DRC will comprise of a Chairperson, and experts with at least 15 years of experience in relevant sectors, to be nominated by the central government.  It will also comprise one member from each state (at Joint Secretary level), who are party to the dispute, to be nominated by the concerned state government. 

How DRC will work?

  • If a dispute cannot be settled by the DRC, the central government will refer it to the Inter-State River Water Disputes Tribunal.  Such referral must be made within three months from the receipt of the report from the DRC

About the Tribunal:

  • It will be set up by the central government for the adjudication of water disputes.
  • This Tribunal can have multiple benches.  
  • All existing Tribunals will be dissolved, and the water disputes pending adjudication before such existing Tribunals will be transferred to the new Tribunal. 

Decision of the Tribunal:

  • This decision has the same force as that of an order of the Supreme Court. 
  • The decision of the Bench of the Tribunal will be final and binding on the parties involved in the dispute.

Data bank: 

  • The Bill provides that the central government will appoint or authorise an agency to maintain data bank and information system at the national level for each river basin