Sone dispute: HC asks Centre to set up tribunal

Patna High Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to form a Water Dispute Redressal Tribunal to resolve the dispute over sharing of Sone waters.

Patna: Patna High Court on Wednesday asked the
Centre to form a Water Dispute Redressal Tribunal in the
possible quickest time to resolve the dispute among Bihar,
Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh over sharing of
Sone waters.
A division Bench comprising Justices S K Katriar and
Ahsanuddin Amanullah passed the order on a PIL filed by former
BJP legislator Saryu Rai and 115 other villagers of Rohtas,
Buxar, Aurangabad, Patna and Bhojpur districts.

"The Centre must constitute the tribunal as soon as
possible to solve the dispute," the judges said.

The petitioners had urged the court for issuing
directive to the Centre for ensuring proper share of Sone
waters as per the `Bansagar agreement`.

The petitioners maintained that villagers and farmers
of erstwhile Shahabad, Gaya and Patna districts had been
beneficiaries of the canal system for over 120 years and it
helped cultivation and livelihood in the Sone canal basin.

The petitioners had said that the river originates
from Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh and disgorging into the
Ganga near Maner in Patna had been impeded by the UP
government which constructed a dam on Rihand and the MP
government further restricted the flow building another dam at
The counsels appearing on behalf of the Centre, NTPC
and the states other than Bihar had contended that the high
court has no jurisdiction to decide a dispute pertaining to
sharing of waters between different states and as per Section
4 of the Inter State River Dispute Act of 1956, the union
government was the appropriate authority to constitute a water
dispute tribunal to deal with such issues.

Bihar, on the other hand, wanted that a direction be
given by the court to `Rihand Reservoir Joint Operating
Committee` to ensure distribution of proper allotted share of
water from Rihand.

Sary Roy had contended that non-allotment of the water
share to Bihar was violation of the fundamental rights of the
farmers and it has adversely affected the economy of the


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