The NGT’s direction was in response to the petition moved by two local residents alleging extensive degradation of the river bed and extraction.
The Centre on Tuesday handed over reference of the Mahanadi water dispute to the chairman of Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal, Justice A M Khanwilkar.
The Tribunal was constituted on 12 March appointing Justice Khanwilkar as chairman and Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Indermeet Kaur Kochhar as its members.
The Secretary Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, U P Singh, on Tuesday met the chairman and discussed the issue in detail.
Singh briefed the chairman about the profile of Mahanadi river, development of water resource projects by various states and dispute in sharing of its waters.
UP Singh told the chairman that the Union government is taking necessary steps for early functioning of the Tribunal and sought his guidance on the road-map for resolving the Mahanadi dispute.
He handed over reference of Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal under Section 5 (1) of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act (ISRWD), 1956, to the chairman.