New Delhi, Jul 31: Exhorting members of all parties to rise above their states' interests, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said on Wednesday that they should mull over water conservation and maintained that the award by a single tribunal on all river disputes will be equivalent to Supreme Court decree.
Replying to more than three hours of debate on The Inter-State River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Mr Shekhawat said the central government will set up an Inter-State River Water Disputes Tribunal, for the adjudication of water disputes and the Tribunal can have multiple benches.
The Bill, which will help adjudicate disputes relating to waters of inter-State rivers and river valleys at a faster pace, was passed with voice-vote in the Lok Sabha.
Water cannot be produced by tribunals or courts, he said and stressed that members must rise above their states and think about water conservation.
He said India had world's 18 per cent population and only 4 per cent replenishable water.
On opposition members' concern over data protection, the minister said data outsourcing will be done by any government agency, it will be collected and then processing will be done.
Assuring the members, he said this will be useful repository and if states also collect data, then can also be preserved at one place.
In a clarification, the minister said Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) and Narmada Control Authority (NCA) would work as they were and without any interruption.
All existing tribunals would be dissolved, and the water disputes pending adjudication before them would be transferred to the new tribunal, the minister said. (UNI)