What Indian Constitution Says About it?

Article 262: Adjudication of disputes relating to waters of inter State Rivers or river valleys

  1. Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution or control of the waters of, or in, any inter State River or river valley.
  2. Notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, Parliament may by law provide that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court shall exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute or complaint as is referred to in clause (1) Co-ordination between States.

Composition of Cauvery Water Management Authority

It would comprise a chairman, eight members besides a secretary. Out of eight members, two each will be full-time and parttime members, while the rest four would be part-time members from states.

Mandate of Cauvery Water Management Authority

  • To monitor the storage, apportion shares, supervise operation of reservoirs and regulate water releases with assistance of the regulating authority.
  • The authority has also been tasked to advise the states to take suitable measures to improve water use efficiency, by way of promoting micro-irrigation (drip and sprinkler), change in cropping pattern, improved agronomic practices, system deficiency correction and command area development.
  • Cauvery Water Management Authority is also expected to look at regulated release of water by Karnataka, at the inter-state contact point presently identified as Billigundulu gauge and discharge station, located on the common border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Significance of notification

  • This would help to solve the long running conflict on distribution of Cauvery waters.
  • It will make the management of Cauvery water scientific.
  • The dispute includes Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Puduchhery.

Interstate water disputes

The Inter-State River Water Disputes are governed by the Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956. As per the current provisions of the 1956 Act, a tribunal can be formed after a state government approaches Union Government with such request and the Centre is convinced of the need to form the tribunal. This act was further amended in 2002 to include the major recommendations of ‘The Sarkaria Commission’. The amendments mandated a one year time frame to setup the water disputes tribunal and also a 3 year time frame to give a decision, the Central Government may extend the period for a further period not exceeding two years.

Drawbacks of the Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956

  • Setting up of tribunals: Even though, the Act provided for establishing tribunals in every state for resolution of water disputes, states have shown a general reluctance to constitute them.
  • Constitution of tribunals: There are no deadlines fixed on them to decide a dispute and there is also no age limit fixed for the chairman and other members of the tribunal. This has resulted in persons sitting on the chairs for years with little scope given for entry of fresh brains and skills in the tribunal.
  • Lack of enforcement mechanism: There is no method by which any award passed by the tribunal can be enforced and made binding on the parties. It always resulted in legal disputes at the end.
  • Procedural issues: The procedure for hearing and declaring awards involves a huge period of time under the Act.
  • Only three of the eight tribunals have actually given awards accepted by the states.
  • There is no upper age limit for the Chairman or the members.

Sarkaria commission Recommendation on ISWD Act 1956

The Sarkaria Commission had recommended certain time limits for the setting up of the tribunal as one year after the request of the state and five years for passing of the final award. But none of these were accepted and incorporated in the Act.

Proposed Inter-state water dispute (Amendment) Bill 2017

  • The bill proposes a single standing tribunal with multiple benches instead of multiple tribunals that exist at present.
  • The total time period for adjudication of dispute has been fixed at maximum of 4.5 years.
  • The decision of the Tribunal shall be final and binding.
  • There is no requirement of publication in the official gazette
  • As per the proposed bill, the Tribunal shall have the composition of one chairperson, one vice-chairperson and not more than six other members.
  • It limits the tenure of the chairperson to five years or till they attain the age of 70, whichever is earlier.
  • The bill also proposes to introduce mechanisms to resolve disputes amicably by negotiations through a Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) before a dispute is referred to the tribunal
  • DRC to be established by the central government consisting of experts.
  • It also provides for a transparent data collection system at the national level for each river basin.
  • It also calls for the appointment of assessors to provide technical support to the tribunal.
  • An agency to maintain data-bank and information system is to be authorized by central government.

Shangri-La Dialogue and Raisina Dialogue

The IISS Asia Security Summit: The Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) is a “Track One” inter-governmental security forum held annually by an independent think tank, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) which is attended by defence ministers, permanent heads of ministries and military chiefs of 28 Asia-Pacific states. The forum gets its name from the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore where it has been held since 2002.

The Raisina Dialogue is a multilateral conference held annually in New Delhi. Since its inception in 2016, the conference has emerged as India’s flagship conference on geopolitics and geo-economics. The conference is hosted by the Observer Research Foundation, an independent think tank, in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs of India.

 

Shangri-La Dialogue and Raisina Dialogue

The IISS Asia Security Summit: The Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) is a “Track One” inter-governmental security forum held annually by an independent think tank, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) which is attended by defence ministers, permanent heads of ministries and military chiefs of 28 Asia-Pacific states. The forum gets its name from the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore where it has been held since 2002.

The Raisina Dialogue is a multilateral conference held annually in New Delhi. Since its inception in 2016, the conference has emerged as India’s flagship conference on geopolitics and geo-economics. The conference is hosted by the Observer Research Foundation, an independent think tank, in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs of India.