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Naveen writes Modi for constitution of Tribunal to solve Mahanadi water dispute

Mahanadi

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to issue instructions for the constitution of the Tribunal by issuing necessary notification under Section 4(1) of the Inter State Water Disputes Act, 1956 following the Supreme Court directive.

“Kindly refer my previous letters dated 7.11.2017, 17.11.2017 and 12.12.2017 regarding my request to issue instructions for the constitution of the Tribunal by issuing necessary notification under Section 4(1) of the Inter State Water Disputes Act, 1956 (Act of 1956), the CM’s letter read.

However, in the meantime, the Supreme Court passed an order on 23.01.2018 directing the Central Government to constitute the Tribunal within a period of one month under Section 4(1) of the Act of 1956 for adjudicating the inter-State water disputes (emerging from the complaint dated 19.11.2016 filed by my Government) between my State and the State of Chhattisgarh in respect of the inter-State river Mahanadi and its valley. A copy of the Supreme Court’s order dated 23.01.2018 is enclosed, the lettered added.

The judgment, as a first step, has brought a sense of relief to the people of Odisha by way of protecting its age old rights and interests in the water of Mahanadi. I would like to emphasize that 60% of the population of Odisha depends on Mahanadi waters for meeting the needs of irrigation and drinking water. The ecology and environment dependent on Mahanadi is far important to be ignored, it informed.

I request the Central Government to implement forthwith the order of the Supreme Court by constituting a Tribunal under Section 4(1) of the Act of 1956. Further, pending the constitution and functioning of the Tribunal, I would be grateful, if you could kindly instruct the Union Ministry of Water Resources to issue necessary administrative directions under Article 256 of the Constitution to the State of Chhattisgarh to stop the construction works on the ongoing projects, particularly the ongoing six barrages across the river Mahanadi, it stressed.

If the construction of these ongoing works is not stopped immediately, then my State would be forced to meet a situation of fait accompli frustrating the adjudication under the provisions of the Act of 1956 enacted by the Parliament pursuant to Article 262(1) of the Constitution of India, the letter concluded.

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