Bhubaneswar: In a significant development in the dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over sharing of Mahanadi river water, the Supreme Court today asked the Centre to submit a report regarding formation of a tribunal to resolve it by the third week of January, 2018.
In the case of non-submission of the report by the due time, hearing will be held on merit basis, reports said.
While Odisha today reiterated in the apex court its demand for formation of the tribunal, Chhattisgarh expressed its will for solution of the dispute through the Joint Control Board.
The next hearing of the matter will be held in the third week of January.
Worth mentioning, the Centre had earlier told the Supreme Court that there is no need to constitute an inter-state tribunal.
In a submission made through an affidavit before the apex court, the Centre had shifted the blame on Odisha government for failing to provide relevant facts and figures required for constitution of such tribunal despite several attempts by it to seek those.
On the other hand, Odisha government had filed a counter affidavit in the Supreme Court in response to the affidavit filed by the Centre.
The State government in its 60-page affidavit accused the Centre of providing erroneous information to the apex court while violating the law by not constituting the tribunal.
It may be recalled here that, the Centre during a hearing on the Mahanadi water dispute on October 9 had committed before the Supreme Court that a decision with regard to the constitution of a tribunal will be taken before November 19.
Further, then Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Kumar Balyan while replying to a query by A V Swamy, MP from Odisha had told in the Rajya Sabha on July 31 this year that the draft Cabinet Note on the formation of the tribunal has been prepared.