One tribunal for all river water disputes: why the proposal, how it will work

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  1. Recently, the Lok Sabha has passed the Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019. The bill seeks to amend the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The bill seeks to make the adjudication of inter-state water disputes more efficient and effective.
  5. Under the present Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956, there has been multiplicity of tribunals. This has led to an increase in bureaucracy, delays, and possible duplication of work.
  6. The replacement of existing tribunals with a permanent tribunal is expected to result in a 25% reduction in staff strength and also save a saving Rs 4.27 crore per year.