Lok Sabha passes Bill to set up single tribunal to settle inter-state water disputes

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  1. Lok Sabha has passed the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill,2019.
  2. The bill seeks to amend the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act,1956.  The Act provides for the adjudication of disputes relating to waters of inter-state rivers and river valleys.
  3. The Bill requires the central government to set up a dispute Resolution Committee(DRC) for resolving any inter-state water dispute amicably. The DRC will get a period of one year extendable by six months to submit its report to the central government.
  4. The Bill proposes to set up an Inter-State River Water Disputes Tribunal for adjudication of water disputes if a dispute is not resolved through the DRC.
  5. This tribunal can have multiple benches.All existing tribunals will be dissolved and the water disputes pending adjudication before such existing tribunals will be transferred to this newly formed tribunal.
  6. The Tribunal will consist of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, three judicial members and three expert members.
  7. Under the Act, the central government maintains a data bank and information system at the national level for each river basin.The Bill provides that the central government will appoint or authorise an agency to maintain such data bank.