Odisha Channel Bureau
Bhubaneswar: The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved the proposal for setting up of a Tribunal for adjudication of the dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh on Mahanadi river waters.
The decision by the Cabinet follows the Supreme Court directive to the Centre last month to form the Tribunal within a month to resolve the long-standing dispute the two States.
The Odisha government had moved the apex court in December, 2016 seeking an order asking Chhattisgarh to stop its construction work in projects on the upstream of Mahanadi, saying it had affected the river flow in the State.
The Naveen Patnaik Government had also sought the court’s direction for setting up of the Tribunal under the Inter-State River Disputes Act, 1956 for resolving the issue.
The Tribunal shall determine water sharing among the two States on the basis of the overall availability of water in the complete Mahanadi basin, contribution of each State, the present utilisation of water resources in each State and the potential for future development, according to an official release issued by the PIB.
As per provisions of the Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956, the Tribunal shall consist of a Chairman and two other Members nominated by the Chief Justice of India from amongst the Judges of the Supreme Court or High Court.
Further, services of two Assessors who are water resources experts having experience in handling sensitive water-related issues will be provided to advise the Tribunal in its proceedings.
As per provisions of the ISRWD Act, 1956, the Tribunal is required to submit its report and decision within a period of three years which can be extended to a further period not exceeding two years due to unavoidable reasons.
It is expected that with adjudication of dispute by the Tribunal, the long-pending dispute between States of Odisha and Chhattisgarh on Mahanadi river will come to a final settlement, the PIB release said.