Want early, amicable solution to Mahanadi dispute: Chhattisgarh Minister

Bhubaneswar: Government officials and technical experts of both Odisha and Chhattisgarh today held discussions on Mahanadi water dispute which has remained a bone of contention between the two States since long. The meeting between officials of both the States was held on Supreme Court premises while several issues including release of water by Chhattisgarh to Odisha during non-monsoon period was also discussed.

Earlier, the Mahanadi Water Dispute Tribunal had asked the two states to hold talks and resolve the dispute amicably. A 3-judge bench comprising chairperson AM Khanwilkar, Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Indermit Kaur had directed Chhattisgarh and Odisha governments to file a written submission in two weeks while the bench will pronounce the judgement on March 9.

Odisha Water Resources Secretary, PK Jena said that the State government will notify the Tribunal regarding the outcome and decision taken during today’s meeting.

Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Water Resources Minister Ravindra Choubey on the other hand stated that there is absolutely no dispute from Chhattisgarh side.

“Odisha thinks that Chhattisgarh is using more water but as far as my knowledge is concerned, we are only able to use 70 to 75 MCM water. Tribunal has already said that if both States can mutually resolve the issue, it will not linger. We also want an early resolution of the dispute,” said Choubey.

Choubey further stated that, “Chhattisgarh needs 70 to 75 MCM (six to seven anicuts) and there is no reason to drag the issue further. If Odisha’s demands are in line, there will be no objection from our side.”