Mahanadi row: Odisha flags concern over delay in tribunal formation


Bhubaneswar: Odisha has once again raised its concern over delay in constitution of a tribunal over the Mahanadi river dispute with Chhattisgarh. Citing that such delay would give undue advantage to the Chhattisgarh government and adversely affect Odisha’s interests, the State government has written a letter to the Union secretary of Water Resources.

“After the negotiation committee’s decision to wind up, it is unambiguously clear that the water disputes raised in the said complaint cannot be resolved through negotiations…. Hence this government reiterates the request and urges for an immediate constitution of a Tribunal and reference of the said complaint under the provisions of the Act of 1956 for Adjudication.” mentioned Odisha Chief Secretary, Aditya Padhi in his letter to the Centre.

Substantiating Odisha’s concerns over the delay, Padhi noted “… any further delay in constitution of an adjudicatory mechanism would give unfair advantage to the upper riparian State of Chhattisgarh adversely affecting downstream rights and interests in Odisha.”’

“We have asked to formally issue the order cancelling the negotiation committee and setting up the tribunal,” said Aditya today.

On the political front, the ruling-BJD alleged that the Centre is being partial over the Mahanadi issue.

“The central government is showing step-motherly treatment toward Odisha and giving Chhattisgarh government the opportunity to complete all pending projects undertaken on the upper catchment of the Mahanadi River,” said BJD spokesperson, Prasanta Nanda.

Retaliating to BJD, Odisha BJP’s Sameer Mohanty said, “The Mahanadi problem has surfaced due to the incompetence of the Odisha government. The BJP is ready to take to streets to ensure that water flow in Mahanadi in Odisha is not affected during off-Monsoon seasons.”

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