Inter-state water disputes

  • Success of India has a federal country, depends not just on the harmonious relationship between centre and the states but also between states
  • To ensure this harmonious relationship, constitution of India has included several important provisions in the constitution, such as-
  1. Adjudication of inter-state water disputes
  2. Coordination through inter-state councils
  3. Mutual recognition of public acts, records and judicial proceedings
  4. Freedom of inter-state trade, commerce and intercourse
  • Zonal councils established through acts and the recent Goods and Services Tax (GST) council are also steps to ensure harmonious relationship between the states

Inter-state water dispute: Art 262 provides for the adjudication of inter-state water disputes. It has two following provisions:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Under the provisions of the act, the central government has enacted, River boards act (1956) and Inter-state water disputes act (1956)
  4. The river board acts provides for the establishment of river boards for the regulation and development of Inter-state River and river valleys. Such a river board is established on the request of the state governments concerned
  5. The inter-state water dispute act empowers the central government to set up an ad hoc tribunal for the adjudication of a dispute between the two or more states in relation to the water of an inter-state river. The decision of the tribunal would be final and binding. Furthermore, the act bars the SC and any other court to have jurisdiction in this matter