Lok Sabha takes up Inter-State Water Disputes Amendment Bill for passage

The Lower house of the parliament, Lok Sabha, on Wednesday took up for consideration the bill that proposed to set-up an interstate River Water Dispute Tribunal in a bid to resolves water disputes in a time-bound manner.

The Inter-State Water Disputes Amendment, Bill, 2019 was introduced by Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat last week. Moving the bill for consideration and passage in the lower house of the parliament, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Shekhawat said that 99 percent of the total area of 24 identified basins was inter-state.

He added there were water disputes between states even in the British rule. The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019, sought to the arbitration of inter-state river water disputes and make the present institutional architecture robust.

The Bill sought to dissolve the present Tribunals and all the cases pending before the tribunals will be directed to new Tribunals after the bill gets Parliament Approval.

Talking about the resolution, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said, out of the 9 tribunals set up to dissolve the water dispute, four had been given awards. He further added that Bill was first brought up in the year 2017, however, it was sent to Standing committee.

It is noteworthy that Narendra Modi-led new government has introduced Jal Shakti Ministry. It came into existence after re-organizing the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga rejuvenation. PM Modi during in his portfolio allocation introduced a new ministry, Jal Shakti Ministry, as a promise made by him during the poll campaign of the recently held national polls 2019.

The new portfolio has been allocated to BJP MP from Jodhpur Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. Shekhawat in the recently held polls defeated Vaibhav Gehlot, son of sitting CM Ashok Gehlot from Jodhpur Lok Sabha Seat.

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