The lingering wars

The Alamatti controversy is only one among the many continuing river disputes, which more than anything else, underscore the failure of tribunals as dispute resolving mechanisms. Here is a list of some such lingering irritants; international river water disputes that India has with Nepal and Bangladesh have not been taken into consideration.

krishna: Within the Krishna basin, besides Alamatti, there is a dispute between Karnataka and upstream Maharashtra over the height of the Ujani dam over the Bhima river, a tributary of the Krishna. Karnataka also has objections against the Jarula and Srisailam projects in the Krishna valley in Andhra Pradesh.

cauvery: The struggle between Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Pondicherry to appropriate the maximum waters in this southern river valley is an ongoing one and has acquired menacing political overtones. The Cauvery tribunal's proceedings have not improved matters.

narmada: The most striking feature of this controversy between Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan is how it has become a state vs people struggle much more than a state vs state one. The Narmada water disputes tribunal, that declared its award in 1979, had not consulted either the people who were asked to pay for the project or those who were to benefit from it.

mahi: Accusing Gujarat of going back on the inter-state agreement in 1966, Rajasthan filed a petition in the Supreme Court. Gujarat had sought to interpret the Narmada tribunal award to mean that it no longer had to give Rajasthan waters from the Mahi-Kadana project. Rajasthan is contemplating filing another petition in the apex court specifically on Mahi.

sone: BJP leaders of Bihar assembly have accused Uttar Pradesh (UP) of illegaly expropriating a major share of the Sone river waters for the National Thermal Power Corpo-ration's Singrauli plant in UP, thereby violating the Vaan Sagar agreement.

yamuna: The dispute regarding sharing of Yamuna waters between Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and UP had a temporary truce through an understanding in late 1994, but has the potential of blowing up again any time.