Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to expedite the issuance of notification constitution of a tribunal to resolve the Mahanadi water dispute with Chhattisgarh.
“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,” said Patnaik in a letter to Modi.
The Chief Minister said the state government had filed a statutory complaint on November 19, 2016, under Section-3 of the Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act of 1956 seeking constitution of a Water Dispute Tribunal to resolve the water issue.
He had also requested the Prime Minister on January 28 to initiate the constitution of the tribunal.
Patnaik said the Act of 1956, as amended in 2002, mandates that if the Centre “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.”
“Therefore, the Central Government is supposed to constitute a Tribunal before November 19,” said the Chief Minister.
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.