Sharing of River Water and Inter State Water Disputes

The names of the present Inter-State water disputes under Inter State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956 and expenditure incurred by them during the last three years are given below:

Sl. No.      Name of the Tribunal                                 Financial year

2008-09           2009-10           2010-11

(Rupees in Lakh)

1.         Ravi & Beas Water Tribunal                                       82.66              117.27             83.45

2.         Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal                  141.15            215.42             223.84

3.         Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal                    144.70            178.44             166.77

4.         Vansadhara Water Disputes Tribunal                        -                      -                       54.97

5.         Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal               -                      -                       8.45

The proposal for setting up a standing tribunal for all Inter State River Water Disputes is at conceptual stage at present. The Punchi Commission on Centre State Relations has inter alia made following recommendation on water disputes:-

(i) The Tribunal should be a multidisciplinary body presided over by a Judge.

(ii)  It should follow a more participatory and conciliatory approach.

(iii) The statute should prescribe a time limit for clarificatory or supplementary orders. Appeals to the Supreme Court should be prescribed under the statute; and in the long run; and Reference to a Tribunal should be invariably linked with constitution of inter-State River Boards charged with an integrated watershed approach towards inter-State rivers.

(iv) The initiating party must indicate the efforts it has made in resolution of its grievances before a River Board.

(v) The Government of India must indicate the stand it took before the Board and in case a Board has not been constituted the reasons for not having constituted one as well as the likely timeframe in case the process is underway.

These recommendations of Punchi Commission on Centre State Relations are under consideration of Inter State council.

The National Water Policy 2002 provides that the water sharing / distribution amongst the States should be guided by a national perspective with due regard to water resources availability and needs within the river basin.

The shares of the basin states in a river basin are normally decided either by agreement among the basin states or by decisions of a tribunal and are given effect to by themselves. In certain cases regulatory bodies with participation of representatives of the concerned basin states are also established to facilitate the implementation of terms of agreement /decision of Tribunal.

Issue of Rajasthan not getting its share of Satluj water has not come to the notice of Government so far.  As far as River Yamuna/Ganga is concerned, Rajasthan does not get its share of water as allocated from Hathnikund Barrage as the mode of conveyance of water to Rajasthan Border has not been agreed to by Haryana.  Also, Rajasthan does not get its full share from Okhla barrage because of enroute losses and unauthorized lifting of water by Haryanafarmers.

With a view to address the issue of supply of Rajasthan’s share of water from Hathnikund Barrage, Upper Yamuna Review Committee during its 3rd meeting held on 12.04.2006 decided to setup an “Empowered Committee” of Irrigation/Water Resources Secretaries from the state of Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh to have a fresh look at the issue of providing water to Rajasthan from Hathnikund/Tajewala, keeping in view the decision of the Upper Yamuna River Board (UYRB).  The report of the Empowered Committee has been considered by the Upper Yamuna Review Committee in its 4th meeting held on 19.7.2011.  On the issue of supply of Rajasthan’s share of water from Okhla Barrage, it was agreed to have joint inspection of the canal reach in Haryana territory by Rajasthan and Haryana officers.

The Minister of State in the Ministry Of Water Resources and Minority Affairs Shri Vincent H. Pala gave this information in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha


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