Tribunal For Mahanadi

The Union  today constituted River Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal to sort out the ongoing water dispute between Odisha and neighbouring Chhattisgarh.

The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation (MoWRRDGR) today issued a notification in this regard under Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956.

The Tribunal will be headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar as the Chairperson and Dr Justice Ravi Ranjan and Justice Indermeet Kaur Kochhar as Members.

These three judges have been nominated by Chief Justice of India (CJI) to adjudicate the dispute at New Delhi, where it will have its office.

The Supreme Court on 23 January had directed the Union Government to constitute a River Tribunal to resolve the matter between Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

The Inter State River Water Dispute (ISRWD) Act 1956 provides for the Tribunal to submit its report and decision within a period of 3 years which can be extended to a further period not exceeding 2 years due to unavoidable reasons.

The water dispute between the two neighboring states  is lingering for more than a year and half with Governing BJD and opposition BJP and Congress indulging in squabbles.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the case and order expeditious formation of the Tribunal.

Both Odisha and Chhattisgarh Governments were unable to reach any consensus over the dispute after several talks for which Odisha Government moved to the Supreme Court asking for setting up of a Tribunal.

As the Chhattisgarh Government went ahead with construction of barrages upstream Mahanadi, Odisha faced tough time due to curtailed flow of water in the major river. 

State Government all along demanded  for stoppage of construction of seven barrages notwithstanding repeated assurances of Chhattisgarh that water flow in the river to Odisha during non-monsoon period will be maintained.

Governing BJD termed River Mahanadi as the lifeline of nearly 64 per cent population of the State depending on it and raised hue and cry over the matter.

And finally the Supreme Court of India came to the rescue of Odisha and directed to form the Tribunal.

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