Mahanadi Tribunal defers Hearing on Odisha Interim Application to Aug 3

Bhubaneswar: The Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal has deferred hearing on Odisha’s interim application to August 3.

In its interim application before the tribunal last year, Odisha Government had demanded release of 1.74 million acre-feet of water by Chhattisgarh during the non-monsoon season. In December 2018, the tribunal hearing the interim application had directed the State to file an affidavit regarding volume of rainwater flow in Mahanadi during the last 20 years.

The tribunal headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar held a hearing on the interim application again in May this year. It then had asked both the States to conduct joint visits to assess water inflow in upper catchments of Mahanadi river. The tribunal had directed so to determine the water inflow in the river downstream.

In its hearing today, the tribunal informed both the States regarding appointment of an Assessor.  “The tribunal has today informed about the appointment of  an Assessor. It will hear the matter on August 3. After the appointment, ground visits will be conducted. This will be followed by a series of meetings between the  technical teams and Advocate General of both the states,” said Ashok Parija, AG Odisha.

The tribunal has also fixed the date of October 19 to hear Chhattisgarh Government’s counter application on Odisha’s interim application. The Chhattisgarh government in its application has sought directions from the tribunal on equal sharing of water among the riparian states.