Soon a single tribunal for all inter-state river disputes

Policy matters this week
Cauvery river in Karnataka (Source: IWP Flickr photos) Cauvery river in Karnataka (Source: IWP Flickr photos)

Government decides to create a permanent tribunal for all inter-state river disputes

The government has decided to constitute a single tribunal for resolving all the inter-state river water disputes while subsuming all the existing ones. Currently, there are eight such tribunals in the country and the need for one more tribunal has emerged after a new dispute has arisen between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over Mahanadi river water. Along with this, the government is also planning a specialised data agency which it had envisaged while proposing a new National Water Commission in place of the existing Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB).

Government appoints task force on Indus Water Treaty

An inter-ministerial task force, headed by prime minister Narendra Modi, has been formed to look into the strategic aspects of the Indus Water Treaty. The task force has been formed with an intent to stop India’s river water from going waste in Pakistan and to utilise the surplus water for farming in Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir. Along with this, the World Bank has also paused the processes initiated by the two nations under the treaty, in order to allow both the neighbours to consider alternative ways to resolve their disagreements. 

A major hurdle to Yettinahole project gets cleared

In order to expedite the Yettinahole project, the government has approved a proposal to acquire 255.05 hectares of land needed for the project directly from farmers. However, there was no legal provision for direct purchase of land but the cabinet decided to treat the Yettinahole project as a special one and thus, acquired land directly from farmers under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act.

SC orders Karnataka to release 2000 cusecs of Cauvery water to TN

Rejecting the Centre’s stand that the Supreme Court has no jurisdiction to hear the Cauvery river dispute, the apex court has ordered the Karnataka government to release 2000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu until January 4.  As per the Centre’s argument, under the Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956, the Supreme Court has been excluded from the hearing or deciding any appeals against the Cauvery tribunal’s decision and the tribunal award needs to be treated as final.

NGT slaps fine on Gujarat government, Centre and Welspun for violating green norms

The National Green Tribunal has imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 each on Centre, Welspun India Limited (WIL) and the Gujarat government for alleged green norm violations by WIL in laying a pipeline to discharge wastewater into the sea from its plant in Kutch district. As per the petitioner claims, WIL has resorted to open digging in water bodies for laying the pipeline instead of horizontal directional drilling which has damaged the mangroves in the area and has also laid the pipeline on the floor of the creek instead of five metres deep in the ground. 

This is a roundup of important policy matters from December 13 - 18, 2016. Also, read news this week.


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