Legal Instruments

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Legal Instruments on
Rivers in India

India has been endowed with abundant water resources, through numerous small and large rivers. Of the total geographical area of the country, approximately 95 percent of the area is under international or Inter- State River basins. The water resources development of these rivers takes place within the legal framework of the interstate rivers. Sufficient familiarity with the legal framework both in its generalities and specifics are therefore, an essential pre requisite for planning, operation and management of water resources of these rivers.
The main legal instruments in referred in this context can be classified as:-

  1. The constitutional provisions relevant to Inter- State Rivers.
  2. Treaties or agreements between India and other countries in regard to development of international rivers/basins.
  3. The laws enacted by the Parliament in connection with the development, use or regulation of inter-state rivers.
  4. The awards and the proceedings of inter-state water disputes tribunals set up by the central Government.
  5. Notification, resolutions, orders etc. issued by the central government in pursuance of the laws or tribunal awards settings up agencies, machineries or procedures to deal with inter-state rivers from time to time.
  6. The various agreement, contracts etc. reached by the state government amongst or between themselves, in regard to inter- state rivers. This includes the various agreements amongst or between the princely states and Indian provinces. Similarly, minutes of important Inter-state meetings about the inter-state water problems, signed by the concerned parties, which reflect, agreed decisions.
  7. Notifications, resolution, orders etc. passed by central government, in pursuance of the inter-state agreements setting up agencies machineries or procedures etc. to deal with inter-state rivers.

During 1979, CWC had brought out a compendium on ôAgreements on Development of interstate and International riversô which required updating. The present compilation aims at both updating the earlier compendium and also at systematically arranging these documents. Accordingly, it was proposed to bring out a series of publications entitled ôLegal Instruments on Rivers in India in the following form.


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