Chhattisgarh seeks formation of JCB to resolve Mahanadi row

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Bhubaneswar: Amidst the ongoing Mahanadi row, the Centre seems to be in two minds as the Chhattisgarh government has demanded formation of a joint control board (JCB) to resolve the ongoing inter-state water dispute with Odisha.

Prior to the demand of the Chhattisgarh government, the Odisha government had filed a complaint petition before the Water Resources Ministry on November 28 this year under Section 3 of Interstate River Dispute Act for formation of tribunal and direction to Chhattisgarh government to stop construction of ongoing projects on upper Mahanadi.

Talking to media persons today, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said the Odisha government had rejected the proposal of the Chhattisgarh government for formation of a Joint Control Board. Now that the neighbouring state has demanded formation of a Joint Control Board. From this it is amply clear that the Chhattisgarh government is in no mood to resolve the issue. “Besides, the statement of Chhattisgarh Water Resources minister to the media has turned out to be an empty vessel. Now the Centre is in a fix as to whether it will allow formation of a tribunal or a Joint Control Board,” he pointed out.

On the other hand, Chhattisgarh Water Resources minister Brijmohan Agrawal has said The Chhattisgarh government has agreed for formation of a Joint Control Board from day one.

“We demand that the implementation of Joint Control Board should be taken up on priority. If the Board is not able to resolve the issue, then the matter should go to the tribunal,” Agrawal told OTV over phone this afternoon.

He further said the Odisha government is pursuing a wrong path as it is in no mood to pay heed to any of the suggestion of the Chhattisgarh government.

Asked about the possibility on formation of a tribunal, Ramesh Chandra Tripathy, former Engineer-in-Chief, Water Resources, said if the Centre agrees for formation of a tribunal, the Joint Control Board may be one of the suggestions before the tribunal. “Even the Centre allows for formation of a Joint Control Board, there is no impediment in the formation of a tribunal,” he pointed out.

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