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|Title:||Constitutional provisions and international & interstate water disputes in India|
|Authors:||Aggarwal, P K|
Jain, S K
|Abstract:||The utilization of water in India comes under the jurisdiction of states. It is possible that environmental or social consequences e.g. submergence, waterlogging etc., for a river which flows entirely in one state, may impact to another state. In addition, water withdrawal in a state may also have an impact on ground water aquifers in the adjacent state. Moreover, operation of a dam may cause inundation in areas beyond the boundaries of the state or nation. All these aspects emphasize the need for co-ordinated approach towards water resources utilization in the country. Under the Indian Constitution, a state government has the power to make laws in respect of water resources of that state. The parliament has the power to legislate the regulation and development of interstate rivers. Thus, the legislative framework of the constitution related to water is based on Entry 17 of the State list, Entry 56 in the Union list, and Article 262 of the Constitution. By virtue of these provisions, the major and medium irrigation, hydropower, flood control and multi-purpose projects are required to seek clearance of the central government for inclusion in the national plan. The term "water rights" refers to the right to use water. According to the Indian Easements Act (1882) the government has the sole right to regulate the collection, detention and distribution of water of rivers and streams flowing in natural channels. For inter-state rivers, the power and role of the Government of India is most important. With the objective of promoting integrated development of the water of inter-state rivers, the Parliament of India had enacted the River Boards Act (RBA) 1956, under Entry 56 of List I. This act contemplates the constitution of river boards by the Government of India in consultation with the State Governments. Betwa River Board, Brahmaputra Board, Bansagar Control Board, Narmada Control Authority, Ganga Flood Control Commission are the examples of the River Boards, constituted under River Board Act. Most big rivers in India are inter- state in character. Disputes do arise amongst the basin states regarding utilization, distribution or control of water in these inter- state rivers. To resolve these disputes, under the provisions of Interstate water dispute act 1956, state government may request the Government of India to refer the dispute to a tribunal for adjudication. So far in India, five tribunals have been setup to adjudicate water disputes namely: Godavari, Krishna, Narmada, Ravi and Beas and Cauvery water dispute tribunals.|
|ISSN:||0975-2412 (Online); 0771-7706 (Print)|
|Appears in Collections:||BVAAP Vol.22(2) [December 2014]|
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