Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi, Nov 21:

Odisha government today filed a petition with the Union Water Resources Ministry for setting up of a tribunal to resolve the inter-state water dispute and direct Chhattisgarh to stop construction of barrages over river Mahanadi with immediate effect.

Barrage built on Mahanadi river in Chhattisgarh.
Barrage built on Mahanadi river in Chhattisgarh.

“Today Odisha government has filed a complaint petition to the Union government under section 3 of Inter-State River Dispute Act for formation of a tribunal and direction to Chhattisgarh to stop construction. I requested the Union government to expedite the same,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik informed media persons here.

During the meeting with the Prime Minister, Patnaik impressed upon to expedite the same.

The Prime Minister assured him the issues raised by the Chief Minister would be looked into.

Odisha Water Resources Secretary Pradeep Jena said that the state government is hopeful of getting favourable ruling after it filed a petition for formation of a tribunal to resolve the ongoing Mahanadi row.

“Along with our petition, we have provided detailed information in a 700-page document which contains all historical facts and data over the past 30-40 years. The document also highlights how the projects undertaken by Chhattisgarh will affect Odisha and why the state is harbouring apprehensions,” said Jena.

It may be mentioned here that opposition parties in Odisha had been demanding formation of Mahanadi Water Dispute Tribunal as per provisions of Inter-state Water Dispute Act, 1956 to find solution to the dispute on usage of Mahanadi river which is considered as the lifeline of the state.

Earlier in mid September, a tripartite meeting failed to arrive at a consensus on the bone of contention. Prior to the meeting, the state government had invited suggestions from public on the contentious river water dispute.

The state has been accusing Chhattisgarh of keeping it in dark and constructing barrages over river Mahanadi without consulting it. The state government had been accusing the neighbouring state of diverting the water for the needs of industrial units than agricultural purposes.

Moreover, it would affect flow of water to Odisha during the non-monsoon period.