Union government is going to introduce a bill in the current Budget session of Parliament.
Hyderabad: In order to end the delays and huge expenditure incurred by individual river wise tribunals, the Union government is going to introduce a bill in the current Budget session of Parliament for constitution of a single permanent tribunal to deal with all inter-state river water disputes in the country.
This was stated by Union Minister of State for Water Resources Arjun Ram Meghwal at the conference of Southern Indian Irrigation ministers and officials here on Tuesday. However, even as the Union minister was talking about a single water disputes tribunal, the Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved the constitution of the Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal on the request of the Odisha state government.
Minister Meghwal pointed out the undue delay and expenditure incurred in constituting river wise tribunals. He suggested that state governments settle water disputes through dialogue among themselves, outside the purview of tribunals and courts. Inter-state water disputes often hold up development, he said, and urged the case for a single permanent tribunal to deal with all cases. This would be a good solution and could be called the 'Hyderabad Declaration', he said.
The idea of a single permanent tribunal had been mooted by Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari last year and was welcomed by the Telangana State government then.
Whenever inter-state water disputes arise, the Central Government uses its powers to constitute a tribunal to deal with distribution and allocation of waters of the river. Every time the Central Government has to find a retired Supreme Court judge to head the tribunal and other retired judges as members, and allot office space to each tribunal in Delhi. The tribunals take a long time - decades sometimes - to settle the disputes.
There are currently 12 such tribunals in the country. If a single permanent tribunal is appointed to deal with all river water disputes, then like the Supreme Court, it can sit 24X7 to hear cases on a day to day basis.