Odisha Channel Bureau
Bhubaneswar: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Centre to constitute a tribunal within one month to resolve the Mahanadi water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde and Justice L. Nageswara Rao also directed that only that tribunal would be responsible to resolve the dispute.
Odisha government had moved the apex court after the Centre failed to direct the Chhattisgarh government to stop construction of barrages over Mahanadi that had affected water flow to the State.
In August last year, Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Balyan, in reply to a question from Independent MP from Odisha A.V. Swamy, had that the Ministry had decided to constitute a tribunal for adjudication of the dispute.
However, the Centre had told the Supreme Court that constitution of a tribunal, as demanded by Odisha government when a mechanism is available in the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act for amicably resolution by way of negotiations.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has welcomed the Supreme Court order to set up a tribunal to resolve the Mahanadi water dispute and said that Odisha’s stand has been vindicated.
The ruling BJD had held a statewide protest demanding constitution of a tribunal to resolve the Mahanadi water dispute with the neighbouring State. The party had blamed the BJP for playing double standards on the issue.