Mahanadi water dispute: Odisha to move Supreme Court after talks fail

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Bhubaneswar, Sep 19: Odisha is planning to knock the Supreme Court’s door for the establishment of a tribunal under the Interstate Water Dispute Act, 1956 after a tripartite meeting on Mahanadi water dispute in New Delhi on Saturday failed to make any decision.

The Odisha cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday empowered the state government to battle out all possible ways  to protect the interests of the state on Mahanadi project dispute with Chhattisgarh, an official said.

“The state cabinet unequivocally endorsed the stand taken by the state government and resolved to explore all possible options for protecting the interests of the people of Odisha,” said Chief Secretary A.P. Padhi.

He lamented that the state government would soon take a decision in this matter and would move to Supreme Court if required.

Referring to the tripartite meeting on the Mahanadi project issue on Saturday, he said the Chhattisgarh government did not agree to the demand of the state government that includes halting of construction work upstream on the Mahanadi.

“We had proposed to constitute a fact finding team with representatives from both the states and other experts to inspect and review the possible impact of the projects. The team would have taken three months time to prepare the report,” said Padhi, adding the Chhattisgarh government did not agree to stop construction work during the intervening period.

The tripartite meeting attended by Patnaik, his Chhattisgarh counterpart Raman Singh and Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti failed to resolve the water sharing dispute.

“Chhattisgarh government proposed for a joint control board to resolve the water issue. But we did not accept the proposal the board has no statutory power. It is just a recommending body,” said the chief secretary.

After coming back from New Delhi, Patnaik had asserted that the state government would leave no stone unturned to protect the interests of the state.

Wefornews Bureau

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