Mahanadi Tribunal: Odisha Govt to move to SC to seek request if Centre condemns

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 23: A day after filing a complaint petition before the Water Resources ministry for seeking formation of a tribunal to resolve the ongoing row between Odisha and Chhattisgarh government on sharing of Mahanadi water, the ruling BJD said it would move the Supreme Court if the Centre shows its unwillingness for formation of the tribunal. Talking to media persons here, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said on Mahanadi issue, the state government has begun judicial process. As per the law of the land, a petition was filed before the Water Resources ministry on Monday. The BJD leader further said there is no restriction for the Odisha government to move the National Green Tribunal (NGT) with regard to the environmental impact on the flora and fauna of the state due to construction of these projects on upper Mahanadi. Asked as to how the Water Resources department, which in the State Assembly in 2010 had said that there would be no dearth of Mahanadi water for Odisha despite construction of barrages in the upper stream by the Chhattisgarh government as the volume of upstream water flow to Odisha in the last 25 years has gone up, now mentioned in its petition to the Water Resources ministry that the state has been receiving less volume of water due to construction of these upstream barrages, Deb admitted that this is a contradictory statement. To a question on how long the state government will have to wait for the decision of the Centre in the formation of the tribunal, Deb said as per rules, the Centre can take a maximum of one year to take a decision. But if the Centre fails to decide within the deadline, then the state government will not remain silent and take necessary legal recourse. Informing the media at the State Secretariat, Water Resources secretary Pradeep Jena said the state government has urged the Water Resources ministry not to make any delay in the formation of an inter-state water dispute tribunal.

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In his reaction, leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra said if the state government has the will power to take up Mahanadi issue, the Opposition will certainly welcome its move as it has finally accepted its advice. BJP State unit president Basant Panda said his party has been telling the state government to place its demands before an appropriate forum as per rules to safeguard the interest of the farmers and people of Odisha.

 

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