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River Boards

Topics: Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies.

River Boards:


Context:

The Centre recently said that it will determine the jurisdictions of the Krishna and Godavari river management boards (KRMB and GRMB).

  • It was announced during the meeting of the apex council involving the Centre, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The meeting was held primarily to resolve the conflict between the two States over executing irrigation projects and sharing water from the Krishna and Godavari rivers.

Background:

The apex council has been constituted by the Central Government under the provisions of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act (APRA), 2014.

  • It supervises the functioning of the Godavari River Management Board and Krishna River Management Board.
  • It comprises the Union Jal Shakti Minister and the Chief Ministers of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Outcomes of the meeting:

  • The two states would submit Detailed Project Reports (DPR) of new irrigation projects for appraisal and sanction by the apex council.
  • The apex council would work towards establishing a mechanism to determine the share of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in the Krishna and Godavari waters. The centre is expected to refer water sharing issues to the Krishna Godavari tribunal.
  • The headquarters of the KRMB would be located in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Telangana Chief Minister agreed to withdraw the case filed in Supreme Court, to allow the Centre to refer water sharing issues to the Krishna Godavari tribunal.

Basics:

Inter-State River Water Disputes:

Article 262 of the Constitution provides for the adjudication of inter-state water disputes.

  • Under this, Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution and control of waters of any inter-state river and river valley.
  • Parliament may also provide that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court is to exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute or complaint.

The Parliament has enacted the two laws:

  1. The River Boards Act (1956).
  2. The Inter-State Water Disputes Act (1956).
  1. The River Boards Act:

It provides for the establishment of river boards by the Central government for the regulation and development of inter-state river and river valleys.

A River Board is established on the request of state governments concerned to advise them.

  1. The Inter-State Water Disputes Act:

It empowers the Central government to set up an ad hoc tribunal for the adjudication of a dispute between two or more states in relation to the waters of an inter-state river or river valley.

  • The decision of the tribunal is final and binding on the parties to the dispute.
  • Neither the Supreme Court nor any other court is to have jurisdiction in respect of any water dispute which may be referred to such a tribunal under this Act.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Tributaries of Krishna.
  2. Tributaries of Godavari.
  3. East vs West flowing rivers of India.
  4. Interstate river water disputes- key provisions.
  5. Krishna and Godavari River Management Boards- formation, functions and orders.

Sources: the Hindu.