New Delhi: The Central government today extended the tenure of Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal for two more years due to failure in submission of reports within stipulated time period.
The tenure has been extended till March 11, 2023, a notification issued by the Ministry of Jal Shakti stated.
The tribunal was supposed to submit the reports regarding Mahanadi water disputes by March 11, 2021. But, due to some ‘unavoidable reasons’, it could not do the same within the given time, the notification said.
The extension of the term was made following a request by the Tribunal as it needs some more time to hear the matter and prepare reports accordingly, it added.
"In exercise of the powers conferred under the proviso to sub-section (2) of section 5 of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 (33 of 1956), the Central Government hereby extends the period of submission of report and decision by the Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal for a period of two years up to 11thMarch, 2023 or till the submission of report and decision under sub-section (2) of section 5 of the said Act, whichever is earlier," the notification stated.
Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal was constituted on March 12, 2018 under the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 for adjudication of Mahanadi water disputes between Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
Following widespread political and public outcry, Odisha Government had moved the Supreme Court in 2016 seeking a direction to Chhattisgarh to stop all construction of barrages and dams in the upstream of the Mahanadi river. It had also sought the formation of a tribunal to resolve the issue.
In January, 2018, the apex court had directed the Centre to form a tribunal to settle down the inter-state water dispute.
Following the apex court order, the Union Cabinet in February, 2018 had approved the proposal to constitute a tribunal.