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Mahanadi row: Odisha CM urges PM for constitution of tribunal

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Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging the latter to expedite the issuance of notification for constitution of a tribunal to resolve the Mahanadi river water sharing dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

In the letter dated 7.11.2017, Patnaik has mentioned that the Odisha government had filed a statutory complaint dated 19.11.2016 under Section 3 of the Inter State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act of 1956 seeking constitution of a tribunal for the adjudication of the water disputes in respect of Mahanadi and its basin between riparian states of Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

Patnaik also said in the letter that the Central Government is supposed to constitute the tribunal before 19.11.2017 as per Section 4 (A) of the Act which mandates that if the Central Government is of the opinion that the water dispute cannot be settled by negotiations, the Central Government shall within a period not exceeding one year from the date of receipt of such request by notification in the Official Gazette, constitute a water disputes tribunal for adjudication of the water dispute.

He further said that the Additional Solicitor General appearing for the Centre apprised the Supreme Court that the Union Ministry of Water Resources has prepared a note for a decision by the Cabinet on the constitution of a Tribunal.

“The delay in constituting the tribunal has been taken advantage of by the state of Chhattisgarh in going ahead with the construction works of six barrages on the main Mahanadi river, which is likely to prejudicially affect the interests of Odisha and its inhabitants, particularly during the non-monsoon period,” the CM concluded.

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