Karnataka Water Regulatory Commission proposed
The task force on quality control in public constructions has recommended appointment of technical experts to tribunals on river water disputes.
In its report to the State government, task force member secretary I. Ravindranath said the targets fixed by the 12th five-year plan on optimum utilisation of water resources could not be met because of disputes between States.
He said the framers of the Constitution might not have thought about including engineering experts in tribunals, as there were only a few of them in the country, unlike legal experts. Mr. Ravindranath said legal luminaries, who argue over river water disputes before tribunals, discussed mainly technical issues pertaining to the case. In the process, other important points pointed out by technical experts were missed out.
Mr. Ravindranath said such tribunals should be led by a technical expert and the members should be specialists in agriculture, horticulture, geology, energy, fisheries, environment, law and urban planning.
The award handed out by such a tribunal would find acceptance by all, as their decisions would be based on facts rather than other considerations, he added.
The task force has also recommended setting up of a Karnataka Water Regulatory Commission on the lines of the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission to make judicious use of water in the State. An autonomous body like this would look into the needs of water by irrigation, drinking purpose, animal husbandry, energy and industry and fix the tariff for each sector. The report was presented to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar a fortnight ago.