Bhubaneswar: January 23: Supreme Court today directed the centre to issue a notification regarding formation of a tribunal within a month to resolve the dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over sharing of Mahanadi river water. The apex court while hearing the matter, directed Centre to form the tribunal within a month. Conducting the hearing on the inter-state river water dispute, a bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices S.A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao today asked the Central Government for constitution of a tribunal. Odisha government had been demanding formation of a tribunal on Mahanadi since over a year.
It is to be noted, Odisha had been opposing Chhattisgarh’s plans to build 13 barrages and seven pick up weirs on the upstream of Mahanadi River and the BJD government asserted that the construction would adversely affect the interests of farmers.
In a submission made through an affidavit before the apex court, the Centre had shifted the blame on Odisha government for failing to provide relevant facts and figures required for constitution of such tribunal despite several attempts by it to seek those.
On the other hand, Odisha government had filed a counter affidavit in the Supreme Court in response to the affidavit filed by the Centre.
The State government in its 60-page affidavit accused the Centre of providing erroneous information to the apex court while violating the law by not constituting the tribunal.
On Dec 12, the Supreme Court asked the centre that there was ‘no valid purpose’ in resisting the setting up of a tribunal to deal with the dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
Earlier this month, Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari had said that the centre agrees with the right of Odisha to demand a tribunal and it will ensure that it is done in next three months.
The centre has also said they were in process of finalising a bill to constitute a composite tribunal which will deal with all the inter-state river water disputes in the country.