10 Aug 2020 4:08 PM GMT
Pursuant to the directions issued by the Karnataka High Court, the Union Ministry of Water Resource has ordered that whenever a decision is taken by a State/Union Territory Government/Authority/Dam Authority to release water from the reservoirs/dams within its limits, an immediate intimation thereof has to be issued to the State/UT Government/Authorities/Dam Authorities which are adjacent...
Pursuant to the directions issued by the Karnataka High Court, the Union Ministry of Water Resource has ordered that whenever a decision is taken by a State/Union Territory Government/Authority/Dam Authority to release water from the reservoirs/dams within its limits, an immediate intimation thereof has to be issued to the State/UT Government/Authorities/Dam Authorities which are adjacent to the said State/or are likely to be affected by the release of water.
Advocate Kumar M N appearing for the Central Government filed the memo before the court informing about the order issued on August 9.
It states that:
"The decision to release water shall be communicated sufficiently in advance by the concerned State/UT Government/Authority in order to allow mitigating measures to be set up by the downstream State/UT Governments/Authorities/Dam Authorities against any impending flood situation which could be caused due to the release of water from dams/reservoirs."
A division bench led by Chief Justice Abhay Oka had earlier directed the authority to consider of exercising the powers under clause (l) of sub-Section (2) of Section 10 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, by issuing directions to the State Governments and the State authorities mandating them to give an intimation to the adjacent States immediately after a decision is taken by the authorities of the State to release water from the reservoirs/dams so that mitigating measures can be taken by the State Governments which are likely to be affected and that they will be in the state of preparedness.
Following the above direction passed by the HC on July 24, the Chairman of the National Executive Committee (NEC), in compliance passed an order under section 69 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 vide order dated 08/08/2020 delegating its power under clause (l) of sub-section (2) of section 10 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 to the Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to issue necessary directions as is considered expedient to comply with the direction of the High Court.
Accordingly, the direction was issued by the Ministry on August 9.
The direction was given during the hearing of a petition filed by Mallikarjuna A, seeking directions to evolve a law/rule to make it compulsory for states to give advance intimation to neighbouring states on the possible discharge of water from its dams.
The petition states "The state of Karnataka had previously, if not to the extent as in 2019, witnessed floods in 2009 and in 2018. With such experiences in the past, the State nor the Centre have learnt to prevent the causes for such floods and measures to control/mitigate the effect/affect and minimizing the losses. Further, it is high time, the State and the Centre respond before the calamity of floods happen and use the technology to forecast the calamity and be prepared in time. In such an advanced stage of technology if we are losing lives, crops and thousands of crores of assets, it's meaningless to say that we are lacking the will and passion to combat the calamity like floods."