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Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal issues notice to Odisha, Chhattisgarh among five States

Bhubaneswar, May 30, 2018: The Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal has issued notices to five States - Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra - to nominate representative for adjudication of Mahanadi water sharing dispute by August 6.

The notices were issued under Rule 4 of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Rules, 1959 to the Governments of five States to nominate their representatives by August 6. If no nominations were received by the due date, the case may be decided in the absence of any representation of State Government.

The tribunal is operating from Delhi.

On February 20, the Union Cabinet approved proposal for constitution of a tribunal to resolve the Mahanadi river water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh after the Supreme Court directed the Centre to form the tribunal within a month, for which the deadline was February 22, 2018.

The tribunal will 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 utilisation of water resources in each State and the potential for future development.

On March 12, the Central Government notified the formation of Mahanadi Water Dispute Tribunal as per the Supreme Court order.

The tribunal was formed under Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956. The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation today issued a notification to this effect.

The tribunal is being headed by Supreme Court judge Justice AM Khanwilkar as the Chairperson and Dr Justice Ravi Ranjan of Patna High Court and Justice Indermeet Kaur Kochhar of Delhi High Court as members.

The trio has been nominated by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra.

As per provisions of the ISRWD Act, 1956 the Tribunal is required to submit its report and decision within a period of three years which can be extended to a further period not exceeding two years due to unavoidable reasons.

The BJD-led Odisha Government is opposing the barrages being constructed by BJP-ruled Chhattisgarh Government upstream Mahanadi.

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