BHUBANESWAR: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to form a tribunal to resolve Mahanadi water sharing dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh by implementing the Supreme Court’s January 23 order on the issue.
In a letter address to PM Modi, Naveen reminded the prime minister about the apex court’s order to constitute a tribunal under the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 within one month and requested him to stop Chhattisgarh from construction works in the river till the tribunal is formed.
“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 to Chhattisgarh to stop construction of the ongoing projects..,” Naveen wrote.
Naveen requested PM Modi to particularly ensure that Chhattisgarh stop works on six barrages across Mahanadi.
The CM mentioned that the SC 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 waters 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 too important to be ignored,” Naveen wrote.
Odisha has been pressing for early formation of a tribunal under the Inter-State Water Disputes, Act 1956 since it first approached the Union government for it on November 19, 2016. Naveen had written letters to Modi on November 7, November 11 and December 12 last year pressing for the tribunal.