New Delhi, March 13: To resolve the ongoing dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over the sharing of water from Mahanadi River, the Union Water Resources Ministry has notified further to the “Mahanandi Water Disputes Tribunal”, to constitute the tribunal.
The Tribunal will be headquartered at New Delhi and will comprise of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Supreme Court Judge (Chairman) Justice Ravi Ranjan, Patna High Court Judge Justice Indermeet Kaur Kochhar, Delhi High Court Judge.
A Bench comprising Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice L. Nageswara Rao had 0n 23 January this year, directed constitution of the Tribunal under Section 4(1) of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956, which mandates nomination of the chairman and me.
The dispute arose between the Odisha and Chhattisgarh, with the former claiming that Chhattisgarh government has been constructing dams in the upper reaches of the Mahanadi, depriving its farmers who are heavily dependent on the river waters. Chhattisgarh, on the other hand, has been resisting the setting up of a tribunal, arguing that the water sharing agreement, which Odisha has been relying on, was with the former Madhya Pradesh government, before the State was carved out in 2000. The State of Odisha had then moved the Supreme Court, after the failure of the inter-state meeting called by the then Union Minister for Water Resources, Uma Bharati in October, 2016.