Bhubaneswar: Centre’s refusal to constitute a tribunal to resolve Mahanadi water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh today led to uproar in State Assembly resulting in adjournment of the House till 3 pm.
Soon after the House assembled for the day, Opposition Congress and BJP members rushed to the well and raised slogans. Similarly, member of the ruling party raised slogans against Centre in their respective seats.
The Congress accused both the State and Centre of being apathetic towards the plight of Odisha people while BJP blamed BJD-led State government for not providing required evidence to Centre on the matter.
“The Centre has cheated the people of Odisha. Constitutional guidelines allow a tribunal to resolve water dispute between two States, but the Centre has refused to constitute the same citing baseless reasons. This is one of the biggest violations of law. Being the protector, the Centre has acted as a killer,” Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said.
The BJP demanded the State to provide detailed report on Mahanadi matter again. “The BJD was trying to stay away from the main issues as it failed to provide detailed report on the river dispute to Centre based on which the Centre filed affidavit in the Supreme Court. We had demanded the State government should issue a White Paper on Mahanadi water, but it failed as it lacks proper data. Now, real face of the BJD has been exposed in the apex court,” BJP MLA Pradeep Purohit said.
The ruling BJD too blasted the Centre for ignoring Odisha’s interest. “The Centre’s betrayal has come to the fore when it moved Supreme Court with affidavit stating that it would not constitute the tribunal. When a State applies for a tribunal, the Centre is bound to constitute the same under the Inter State River Water (ISRW) Disputes Act, 1956. But it paid little heed to it. Protesting it, almost all members of the House today expressed resentment,” Government chief whip Amar Satpathy said.
The Centre on Wednesday filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court accusing Odisha of not adducing evidence in support of its case. In the affidavit, the Centre alleged the State government of not submitting any data till date.
“The complainant cannot make allegations which are not backed by data, facts and evidence. The plaintiff (Odisha government) did not supply any data and furnish evidence in their favour, while Chhattisgarh and all other party states did so. The plaintiff also challenged the evidence adduced by other party states without any factual basis,” the Centre stated in its affidavit.