The Parliament has enacted Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956 for adjudication of disputes relating to waters of inter-State rivers and river valley thereof.
When any request under the said Act is received from any State Government in respect of any water dispute on the inter- State rivers and the Central Government is of the opinion that the water dispute cannot be settled by negotiations, the Central Government constitutes a Water Disputes Tribunal for the adjudication of the water dispute.
It was informed that currently, 5 water disputes Tribunals are active.
In order to further streamline the adjudication of inter-State river water disputes, the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced in Lok Sabha by the Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWR, RD & GR) on 14.03.2017 by amending the existing ISRWD Act, 1956.
The Bill envisages to constitute a standalone Tribunal with permanent establishment and permanent office space and infrastructure so as to obviate with the need to set up a separate Tribunal for each water dispute which is invariably a time- consuming process.
In the Bill, there is a provision for establishment of a Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) by the Central Government for resolving amicably, the inter- State water disputes within a maximum period of one year and six months.
Any dispute, which cannot be settled by negotiations shall be referred to the Tribunal for its adjudication. The dispute so referred to the Tribunal shall be assigned by the Chairperson of the Tribunal to a Bench of the Tribunal for adjudication.>