Sone dispute: HC asks Centre to set up tribunal
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Last Updated: Wednesday, September 21, 2011, 19:09
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 Bansagar.

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 state.


First Published: Wednesday, September 21, 2011, 19:09

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