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Union Cabinet approves Mahanadi tribunal


New Delhi/Bhubaneswar, February 20, 2018: The Union Cabinet on Tuesday approved proposal constitution of a tribunal under Inter-State River Disputes Act, 1956 to resolve the Mahanadi river water sharing dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh. 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for adjudication of dispute on Mahanadi River Waters. The Tribunal shall determine water sharing among basin States on the basis of the overall availability of water in the complete Mahanadi basin, contribution of each State, the present utilization of water resources in each State and the potential for future development.

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 3 years which can be extended to a further period not exceeding 2 years due to unavoidable reasons.

It is expected that with adjudication of dispute by the Tribunal, the long-pending dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh on Mahanadi river will come to a final settlement.

On January 23, acting on a petition of the Odisha Government, the Supreme Court directed the Centre to form a tribunal within one month to resolve the Mahanadi water sharing dispute.

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