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Mahanadi tribunal by November 19, Centre tells Supreme Court

Bhubaneswar/New Delhi, October 9, 2017: The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court that it will notify a tribunal under Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 by November 19 to resolve the Odisha-Chhattisgarh dispute over sharing of Mahanadi water.

A bench comprising Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde and Justice L Nageswara Rao considered the submission of the Centre.  

However, the Supreme Court imposed no stay on the ongoing construction work and operation of completed projects being undertaken by Chhattisgarh Government, so far.  

Earlier on August 28, Additional Solicitor General Atamaram Nadkarni on behalf of the Centre submitted before the court that the Water Resources Ministry had prepared draft proposals for formation of a tribunal and sent the same to the Union Cabinet for its approval and sought four weeks time.

Considering the request, the Supreme Court had posted the next hearing on the matter on October 9.

Alleging that Chhattisgarh has been constructing dams and weirs (small dams) upstream, affecting the flow of the Mahanadi river which it considered as the "lifeline" on its territory, Odisha has been demanding formation of a tribunal under the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 for a long time.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had taken up the issue of construction of barrages upstream by Chhattisgarh at a trilateral meeting convened by the then Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti on September 17, 2016. The meeting, also attended by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, however, had failed to achieve any solution.

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