Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today again demanded that the Centre immediately set up a tribunal to resolve the Mahanadi water dispute between the state and neighbouring Chhattisgarh.
He wrote a letter to the prime minister today and demanded the setting up of the tribunal. He had earlier written a letter to the prime minister on November 7 in this regard.
"I would earnestly seek your personal intervention in the matter for issuing appropriate directives for constituting the tribunal within the stipulated timeline for an early adjudication of the concerns of the people of my state," Mr Patnaik wrote in the letter.
"I would like to emphasise here that the timeline of one year for the constitution of the tribunal for adjudicating the Mahanadi water dispute, under section 4(1) of the Inter State River Water Dispute (ISRWD) Act, 1956, is getting over on 18th November, 2017. However, the Union government has not yet constituted the tribunal, despite my repeated requests over the last one year," he added.
In his November 7 letter, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) chief had mentioned that the delay in constituting the tribunal was "helping" Chhattisgarh, which had "illegally" been constructing barrage projects on the upstream of the Mahanadi river.
The BJD government has been maintaining that projects on the upstream of the river has severely affected the flow of water into Odisha.
Urging the prime minister for an immediate issuance of a notification to set up the tribunal for an early initiation of the adjudication process in the Mahanadi water dispute, Mr Patnaik said, "The central government is supposed to constitute the tribunal before 19.11.2017 as my government had filed the statutory complaint on 19.11.2016."
He also mentioned that the additional solicitor general, appearing for the Union government in the original suit no.1 (filed by the state of Odisha), had informed the Supreme Court on May 2, 2017 that the Union Ministry of Water Resources had prepared a note for the Cabinet on the constitution of the tribunal.
The chief minister said the apex court had also said that the notification for the tribunal should be issued by November 19, 2017.