“Disputes between the riparian states on sharing of river waters in post-Independence India are becoming increasing complex.” Objectively analyze the major disputes in this connection, with special reference to the southern states.
(Civil Services Exam 2010, 250 Words)
The interstate rivers have become theatre of disputes in the post independence era. The factors such as increasing population, urbanization, regionalism, political compulsions, collation politics and increase in demand for water due to use of fertilizers and high yielding varieties of crop have made the situation complex.
All the major rivers originate in one state and passes through the others. The data on which the water sharing is based has become unviable and anachronic. Mostly the disputes are related to the extra utilization from the binding legal contracts into which the respective states have entered themselves. Since water is the issue related to basic needs and livelihoods thus the pressure groups, regionalism and politics also gets involve into the issue which further make it complex.
The following are the major inter-state water disputes in the country:
2. Ravi Beas
The issue gets intensified in Southern states because of two major factors. Firstly the rivers in south India witness steep changes in their annual regime. Secondly, paddy cultivation is rampant in this part which requires plenty of standing water. Cauvery and Mulperriyar Dam issues are the two major inter-state water disputes in southern India in recent past. While Cauvery water dispute is related to water sharing between the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhara Pradesh, Mulperiyar Dam issue is related with the height of Dam where the two states i.e. Tamil Nadu and Kerala have taken opposite stands.
The legal agreements and awards by the Tribunals in these disputes might prove beneficial to one party in the short term, but in order to cater to the increasing demand of water, cooperation among the states and other players is essential to come up with innovative and sustainable solutions like treatment of sea water, promotion of drought resistant crops etc.