Grappling with water disputes in India


Resolving inter-state water tribunals is getting fiendishly difficult and a permanent solution is required | अंतर-राज्य जल विवादों को सुलझाना बेहद जटिल होता जा रहा है, और एक स्थाई समाधान आवश्यक है

Grappling with water disputes in India

Today, water disputes between states are adjudicated by ad hoc water tribunals. Suggestion is to establish a Permanent tribunal. Union Cabinet has proposed subsuming all existing tribunals, for speedier adjudication. But for just 1 institution with 1 Supreme Court judge as chairperson, ruling within 3 years will remain a doubt. The sheer number of inter-State disputes is very high. In December, SC said under article 136, it has all powers to hear appeals arising from a river water dispute Tribunal decision. The Inter-State Water Disputes Act only bars the SC from hearing the original complaint, not an appeal against Tribunals’ decisions! Hence, even if the Permanent tribunal is made, SC may still hear appeals. 

What about delays? Can setting up a Dispute Resolution Committee before going to Permanent Tribunal be done? Whatever happens, positive is that expert agency will collect data on rainfall / irrigation /surface water flows. Data has to be unanimously acceptable and beyond questioning, in disputes. Also, will States accept the Permanent tribunals’ final judicial orders?

Download legal documents related to water disputes here and here. And view a master resource on rivers of India and the world, here!

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भारत में जल विवादों से निपटना 

आज राज्यों के बीच के जल विवादों का न्याय-निर्णय तदर्थ न्यायाधिकरणों द्वारा किया जा रहा है। सुझाव यह है कि एक स्थाई न्यायाधिकरण स्थापित किया जाए न्याय-निर्णय की प्रक्रिया में तेजी लाने के लिए केंद्रीय मंत्रिमंडल ने सभी विद्यमान न्यायाधिकरणों को समाहित करने का प्रस्ताव रखा है। परंतु केवल एक संस्था, जिसके अध्यक्ष केवल एक सर्वोच्च न्यायालय के न्यायाधीश हैं, उससे तीन वर्षों में न्याय निर्णय की उम्मीद करना संदिग्ध प्रतीत होता है। अंतर-राज्य जल विवादों की संख्या ही इतनी विशाल है दिसंबर में सर्वोच्च न्यायालय ने कहा था कि अनुच्छेद 136 के तहत उसके पास नदी-जल न्यायाधिकरण के निर्णय से निर्मित होने वाली अपीलों पर सुनवाई करने के संपूर्ण अधिकार हैं। अंतर-राज्य जल-विवाद अधिनियम सर्वोच्च न्यायालय को केवल मूल शिकायत की सुनवाई करने से प्रतिबंधित करता है, न कि न्यायाधिकरण के निर्णय के विरुद्ध की गई अपील से! अतः यदि स्थाई न्यायाधिकरण का गठन हो भी जाता है फिर भी सर्वोच्च न्यायालय अपीलों की सुनवाई करना जारी रख सकता है 

एक अन्य कदम यह हो सकता है कि स्थाई न्यायाधिकरण के पास जाने से पूर्व एक विवाद निवारण समिति का गठन किया जाए चाहे कुछ भी हो परंतु इसका सकारात्मक पहलू यह है कि एक विशेषज्ञ अभिकरण वर्षा/सिंचाई/सतही जल प्रवाह इत्यादि पर आंकडे संग्रहित करेगा। इस प्रकार के विवादों में यह आवश्यक है कि आंकडे बिना कोई प्रश्न किये सर्वसहमति से स्वीकार्य होने चाहियें प्रश्न यह भी है कि क्या राज्य स्थाई न्यायाधिकरण के अंतिम न्यायिक आदेशों को मानेंगे?  

जल विवादों से संबंधित कानूनी दस्तावेज़ यहाँ और यहाँ पढ़ें। भारत और विश्व की नदियों पर एक विशाल संसाधन पृष्ठ यहाँ देखें 

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Bodhi Saar: Grappling with water disputes in India
Grappling with water disputes in India
Resolving inter-state water tribunals is getting fiendishly difficult and a permanent solution is required | अंतर-राज्य जल विवादों को सुलझाना बेहद जटिल होता जा रहा है, और एक स्थाई समाधान आवश्यक है
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