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Rashmi Ranjan

Bhubaneswar: Even though the Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal will turn three next month, the panel has failed to resolve the long-standing water sharing dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh, alleged Mahanadi Bachao Andolan on Saturday.

Expressing resentment over the tribunal's tardy response to the dispute, Sudarsan Das, the convenor of Mahanadi Bacho Andolan said, "The tribunal will complete three years of its constitution on March 12, but it is yet to make any remarkable progress in resolving the dispute."

"During the 19th hearing today, the tribunal also failed to finalise the common information format and scheduled the next hearing on March 13. Odisha has failed to get any significant benefits from the panel," alleged Das.

Expressing doubt on the delivery of final verdict before the end of tribunal's tenure, Das threatened to hit the streets again while cautioning the government not to politicise the issue any more.

"Neither Odisha got any interim order from the panel, nor Chhattisgarh's construction works were restricted. We will launch our protest again if the dispute is not resolved at the earliest," Das cautioned.

Notably, Odisha and Chhattisgarh are on loggerheads over the release of Mahanadi river water to the Hirakud dam and a series of meetings between the two States over the long-standing dispute are yet to yield any results.

Odisha government had requested the Central government to form a Tribunal under Sec 4(1) of the ISRWD Act, 1956 to resolve the dispute with the neighbouring Chhattisgarh.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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