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No timeline for ‘standing tribunal’ on water disputes: Centre


New Delhi: The Union Government on Monday said that it has not fixed a time line to take a final call on replacing all existing inter—state water dispute tribunals with a permanent body to settle such matters.

In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Water Resources Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the proposal to set up a ’standing tribunal’ to adjudicate inter—state river water disputes in consultation with stakeholders, including states is at “conceptual stage.“

“No time line has been fixed,” he said.

The Minister also said five water disputes referred to tribunals under the Inter—State River Water Disputes Act of 1956 are yet to be settled.

The Ravi and Beas Tribunal set up in April, 1986 to settle dispute between Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan gave its report and decision in April, 1987. But a Presidential Reference in the matter is before the Supreme Court.

In April, 2004, to settle a dispute between Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, the Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal II was set up. It gave its final report in November last.

But as per a Supreme Court order of September, 2011 the decision of the panel cannot be published in official gazette following references filed by the Centre and the State Governments.

The Vansadhara Water Disputes Tribunal to settle water dispute between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha was established in February, 2010. It is yet to give its report.

The Mahadayi Tribunal to settle dispute between Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra in November, 2010 is also to come out with its award.

The Cauvery Tribunal of June, 1990 gave its final award six years ago which was notified in February last year involving dispute between Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Pudducherry. But the States have filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court.


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