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Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi/ Bhubaneswar: In a major respite for Odisha government, the Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved the proposal to set up a Tribunal to resolve the ongoing Mahanadi water dispute with neighboring Chhattisgarh.

The Tribunal shall determine sharing of water based on availability of water in the complete Mahanadi basin, contribution of each State, present utilization and potential for future development.

Official sources said, the Tribunal will be headed by a chairman and two other members, who will be nominated by the Chief Justice of India from amongst the judges of the Supreme Court or High Courts.

The Tribunal is expected to submit its report within three years, which can be extended for a period not exceeding two years.

Senior BJD leader Prasanna Acharya claimed that the Centre was forced to constitute a Tribunal following the direction of the Supreme Court.

"We will put forth our demands before the Tribunal and will urge that until a final decision is taken, Chhattisgarh should stop construction work on all the barrages," said Acharya.

BJP leader Pradip Purohit on the other hand claimed that Odisha government is to be blamed for not taking any action in the past 18 years for which Chhattisgarh went ahead with the construction of barrages.

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