Country
India
Sources
InforMEA
Tagging
Constitutional, Jurisdiction, Property, Forests, Standing, Permits, Administrative, Evidence
Abstract
As per the provisions of Punjab Re-organisation Act 1966 the functions of the Bhakhra Beas Management Board (BBMB) includes the regulation of supply of water from Bhakhra Nangal Project and Beas Projects to the States of Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan Inspite of agreement share of each states the Technical Sub Committee of the BBMB the State of Punjab created problem in releasing water to other states particularly the Stale of Rajasthan.. The crops in Rajasthan mainly depend on the supply of water from the Head Works at Ferozpur, Ropper and Harike. The petitioner, a agriculturist based in Rajasthan sought the relief from the Court that the share of water of inhabitants of Rajasthan should be safeguarded by ensuring the compliance of the provisions of Punjab Re-organisation Act 1966 and the Bhakhra Beas Management Board be directed to take over the administration, maintenance and operation of the irrigation work and Head works as per Section 79 of the said Act from the State of Punjab, since the State of Punjab is utilising more water than earmarked for them because the control of Head Works at Ferozpur, Ropar and Harike is with the Sub Committee of BBMB. The State of Punjab argued that since issue raised was a ‘water dispute’ it was barred under the provisions of Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956 read with Article 262 of the Constitution. The Court ruled in favour of the petitioner as no Orders of Tribunals setup under the Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956 were being challenged and the fundamental rights of the petitioners were being affected. An analysis of the averments in the petition shows that petitioner has not raised any question which pertains to the delivery of water to the State and the petition does not involve any matter that can fall into the category of water dispute's as defined in Section 2(c) of Act of 1956. A bare perusal of Section 79 demonstrates that BBMB is an impartial Central agency created under the scheme of 1966 Act. Administration and control on the Head Works is vested in BBMB to ensure delivery of water to the concerned beneficiary without fear and favour. It is only the BBMB which is entitled to keep Administration and Control of Head Works in order to safeguard the fundamental rights to water of the petitioner and other farmers of the State of Rajasthan and this Court has jurisdiction to protect the fundamental rights of the inhabitants of Rajasthan under Article 226 of the Constitution. Since the petitioner and other similarly situated farmers of the State of Rajasthan have fundamental right to water, this court has to address the issue from humanitarian point of view.