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Ministry of Law and Justice

Act nº 8 of 1873

  • Part I
  • Part II
  • Part III
  • Part IV
  • Part V
  • Part VI
  • Part VII
  • Part VIII
  • Part IX
  • Part X
  • Part XI
  • Act nº 8 of 1873



[Act, No. 8 of 1873]

[AS ON 1955]

[11th February, 1873]


An Act to regulate Irrigation, Navigation and Drainage Northern India.

WHEREAS, throughout the territories to which this Act extends, the State Government is entitled to use and control for public purpose the water of all rivers and streams flowing in natural channels, an of all lakes and other natural collections of still water; and whereas it is expedient to amend the law relating to irrigation, navigation an drainage in the said territories; It is hereby enacted as follows:-(Preamble)

Part I

Section 1. Short title

This Act may be called the Northern India Canal and Drainage Act, 1873.

It extends to {Subs. by the A. O. 1948, for the original words as amended by the A. O. 937. The Act originally extended to the territories which are now the U. P., the Punjab, and the C. P. It has been rep. in the C. P. by the C. P. Irrigation Act. 1931 (C. P. 3 of 1931). It has been declared not to apply to any canal which is included for the time being under Sch. I or Sch. II to the Punjab Minor Canals Act, 1905 (Punjab 3 of 1905), seesection2 (3) of that Act. The Act as been amended in Punjab by Punjab Act 19 of 1953. } [Utter Pradesh and the1[territories which, immediately before the 1stNovember, 1956, were comprised in the States of Punjab and Delhi]] and applies to all lands, whether permanently settled, temporarily settled, or free from revenue.

{The commencement cl. was rep. by Act 16 of 1874. }

1. Substituted for "States of Punjab and Delhi" by 2.A.L.O. 1956, w.e.f. 01-11-1956.

Section 2. [Repealed]

[Repeal of Acts.] Rep.by the Repealing Act, 1873 (12 of 1873)section1 and Sch., Pt.II

Section 3. Interpretation clause

In this Act, unless there be something repugnant in the subject or context:--

(1) " canal " includes

(a) all canals, channels and reservoirs constructed, maintained or controlled by the State Government for the supply or storage of water;

(b) all works, embankments, structures, supply and escape channels connected with such canals, channels or reservoirs;

(c) all water-courses as defined in the second clause of this section;

(d) any part of a river, stream, lake or natural collection of water or natural drainage-channel, to which the State Government has applied the provisions of Part II of this Act:

(2) "water-course" means any channel which is supplied with water from a canal, but which is not maintained at the cost of the State Government, and all subsidiary works belonging to any such channel: ("Water course.")

(3) "drainage-work" includes escape-channels from a canal, dams weirs, embankments, sluices, groins and other works for the protection of lands from flood or from erosion, formed or maintained by the State Government under the provisions of Part VII of this Act, but does not include works for the removal of sewage from towns:("Drainagework.")

{Cf.definition in the General Clauses Act, 1897 (10 of 1897),section3 (63).} (4) "vessel" includes boats, rafts, timber and other floating bodies: ("Vessel.")

(5) "Commissioner" means a Commissioner of a division, and includes any officer appointed under this Act to exercise all or any of the powers of a Commissioner:("Commissioner.")

{Cf., ibid.,section3 (11).} (6) "Collector" means the head revenue-officer of a district and includes a Deputy Commissioner or other officer appointed under the Act to exercise all or any of the powers of a Collector:("Collector.")

(7) "Canal-officer" means an officer appointed under this Act to exercise control or jurisdiction over a canal or any part thereof:("Canal-officer.")

"Superintending Canal-officer" means an officer exercising general control over a canal or portion of a canal:("Superintending Canal-officer.")

"Divisional Canal-officer" means an officer exercising control over a division of a canal: ("Divisional Canal-officer.")

"Sub-Divisional Canal-officer" means an officer exercising control over a sub-division of a canal:("Sub-divisional Canal-officer.)

(8) " district " means a district as fixed for revenue purposes.("District")

Section 4. Power to appoint officers

The State Government may from time to time declare, notification in the Official Gazette, the officers by whom, and the local time its within which, all or any of the powers or duties hereinafter conferred or imposed shall be exercised or performed.

All officers mentioned in section 3, clause (7), shall be respective subject to the orders of such officers as the State Government from time to time directs.

Part II

Section 5. Notification to issue when water supply is to be applied for public purposes

Whenever it appears expedient to the State Government that the water of any river or stream flowing in a natural channel, or of any lake or other natural collection of still water, should be applied or used by the State Government for the purpose of any existing or projected canal or drainage-work, the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare that the said water will be so applied or used after a day to be named in the said notification, not being earlier than three months from the date thereof.

Section 6. Power of cancel officer

At any time after the day so named, any Canal-officer, acting under the orders of the State Government in this behalf, may enter on any land and remove any obstructions, and may close any channels, and do any other thing necessary for such application or use of the said water.

Section 7. Notice as to claims for compensation

As soon as is practicable after the issue of such notification, the Collector shall cause public notice to be given at convenient places, stating that the State Government intends to apply or use the said water as aforesaid, and that claims for compensation in respect of the matters mentioned in section 8 may be made before him.

Section 8. Damage for which compensation shall not be awarded

No compensation shall be awarded for any damage caused by--

(a) stoppage or diminution of percolation or floods;

(b) deterioration of climate or soil;

(c) stoppage of navigation, or of the means of drifting timber or watering cattle;

(d) displacement of labour.

But compensation may be awarded in respect of any of the following matters:(Matters in respect of which compensation may be awarded)

(e) stoppage or diminution of supply of water through any natural channel to any defined artificial channel, whether above or under ground, in use at the date of the said notification;

(f) stoppage or diminution of supply of water to any work erected for purposes of profit on any channel, whether natural or artificial, in use at the date of the said notification;

(g) stoppage or diminution of supply of water through any natural channel which has been used for purposes of irrigation within the five years next before the date of the said notification;

(h) damage done in respect of any right to a water-course or the use of any water to which any person is entitled under the {See now the Indian Limitation Act, 1908 (9 of 1908)} Indian Limitation Act, 1877, Part IV;

(i) any other substantial damage, not falling under any of the above clauses (a), (b), (c) or (d), and caused by the exercise of the powers conferred by this Act, which is capable of being ascertained and estimated at the time of awarding such compensation.

In determining the amount of such compensation, regard shall be had to the diminution in the market-value, at the time of awarding compensation of the property in respect of which compensation claimed; and, where such market-value is not ascertainable, the amount shall be reckoned at twelve times the amount of the diminution of the annual net profits of such property caused by the exercise of the powers conferred by this Act.

No right to any such supply of water as is referred to in clause (e), (f) or (g) of this section, in respect of a work or channel not use at the date of the notification, shall be acquired as against the State Government, except by grant or under the {See now the Indian Limitation Act, 1908 (9 of 1908)} Indian Limitation Act, 1877, Part IV;

and no right to any of the advantages referred to in clauses (a (b) and (c) of this section shall be acquired, as against the State Government, under the same Part.

Section 9. Limitation of claims

No claim for compensation for any such stoppage, diminution or damage shall be made after the expiration of one year from such stoppage, diminution or damage, unless the Collector is satisfied that the claimant had sufficient cause for not making the claim within such period.

Section 10. Enquiry into claims and amount of compensation

The Collector shall proceed to enquire into any such claim and to determine the amount of compensation, if any, which should be given to the claimant; and sections 9 to 12 (inclusive), 14 a 15, 18 to 23 (inclusive), 26 to 40 (inclusive), 51, 57, 58 and 59 of the {See now the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (1 of 1894).} Land Acquisition Act, 1870, shall apply to such inquiries:

Provided that, instead of the last clause of the said section the following shall be read:"The provisions of this section a of section 8 of the Northern India Canal and Drainage Act, 18 shall be read to every assessor in a language which he understands before he gives his opinion as to the amount of compensation to awarded."

Section 11. Abatement of rent on interruption of water supply

Every tenant holding under an unexpired lease, or having right of occupancy, who is in occupation of any land at the time when any stoppage or diminution of water-supply, in respect of which compensation is allowed under section 8, takes place, may claim an abatement of the rent previously payable by him for the said land, on the ground that the interruption reduces the value of the holding..

Section 12. Enhancement of rent on restoration of water supply

If a water-supply increasing the value of such holding is afterwards restored to the said land, the rent of the tenant may be' enhanced in respect of the increased value of such land due to the; restored water-supply, to an amount not exceeding that at which it stood immediately before the abatement.

Such enhancement shall be on account only of the restored water-supply, and shall not affect the liability of the tenant to enhancement of rent on any other grounds.