Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi/Cuttack, May 2:
The Supreme Court of India today conducted a hearing on Odisha government’s injunction suit against Chhattisgarh over construction of dams and weirs in the upper catchment of river Mahanadi.
While the Additional Solicitor General of India appeared before the court on behalf of the Central government today, the apex court, however, has posted the next hearing on the matter for July 25.
“With two-three months left for us to refer the matter to the tribunal, the court said let the matter be adjourned for some time in July. Meanwhile, if they constitute the tribunal we can go for interim orders before the tribunal,” said E C Agarwal, Odisha government’s defense counsel.
The apex court after hearing arguments of Odisha and Chhattisgarh on April 25 last had asked the Attorney General of India to appear before it and make a submission on the Central government’s stand on Odisha’s petition seeking constitution of a tribunal to resolve the issue.
Notably, Odisha government had moved the Supreme Court on December 4, 2016 after filing a statutory complaint before the Centre urging formation of a tribunal under the Inter-State Water Dispute Act, 1956 to resolve the row. The state government had filed the injunction suit under Article 131 of the Constitution of India.
In a related development, the Central Water Commission (CWC) today submitted its reply before the Odisha High Court in connection with the Mahanadi water dispute.
The CWC submitted its reply over the constitution of a tribunal to resolve the issue in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Mahanadi Banchao Committee seeking constitution of a tribunal for resolving the Mahanadi row.
“Since the interests of Odisha’s general public is not secured. Its interests have been affected. Odisha’s people are facing water crisis. It won’t be wrong to tell that they have been exploited, so we are hopeful that the bench will certainly deliver justice to us,” said Ashok Mohapatra, petitioner’s counsel.