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Centre notifies Tribunal to resolve Mahanadi dispute

Statesman News Service | Bhubaneswar |

The centre on Monday notified a three-member Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar to resolve the water dispute between Odisha and neighbouring Chhattisgarh.

Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation on Monday issued a notification regarding setting up of the tribunal under Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956.

Besides Justice AM Khanwilkar, the other two members are Dr Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Indermeet Kaur Kochhar. The Tribunal will function from Delhi. It may be recalled that the Supreme Court on 23 January directed the Centre to constitute a Tribunal within a month.

The Tribunal is expected to give its award within three years time. It is pertinent to note that Odisha government had demanded constitution of a Tribunal in November 2017.

Sensing that the centre was delaying matters, it had also moved the Supreme Court in this regard. Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari had suggested negotiated settlement and requested Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik to provide a date for talks so that he could mediate with the Chhattisgarh CM and convene a tripartite meeting.

Odisha government had not responded to Gadkari as it had noted that two previous meeting had failed to resolve the problem and that Chhattisgarh had refused to stay construction of barrages upstream of Mahanadi.