The government on 25 June 2013 floated a draft Bill demanding setting up of 12 river basin authorities in the country to settle discordances and prevent deluge and pollution in inter-state rivers.
The bill named as Draft River Basin Management Bill, basically demands to amend the River Boards Act, 1956. It was put in public domain by the Water Resources Ministry.
A mechanism for integrated planning, development and management of water resources of a river basin is planned to be created under the ambit of the bill as the River Boards do not have such a provision.
It has been found that there is not any single River Board which has been constituted under the present Act as not any request was made by any of the state of the country under the provisions of the legislation.
Some Provisions laid under the Bill
• The Bill proposes a two-tier structure for each of the 12 river basin authorities.
• Every river basin authority is supposed to be consisting of an upper layer called the governing council and a lower layer described as the executive board charged with the technical and implementation powers for the council decisions.
• The governing council has extensive membership and representation including chief ministers of the co-basin states, ministers in charge of water resources, one Lok Sabha member, one MLA among others.
• The executive board will also be given a broad base membership under the Bill.
• The governing council will approve the river basin master plan to ensure sustainable river basin development, management and regulation. It will also take steps to enable the basin states to come to an agreement for implementation of river basin master plan.
• The council will also settle inter-state water disputes.
• The executive board will prepare schemes for irrigation, water supply, hydropower, flood control, pollution control and soil erosion.
Who: Union Government
When: 25 June 2013