Mahanadi Water Dispute: Tribunal reaches Odisha, starts field visit at Hirakud from today
In the first phase of the survey, the tribunal had visited the Kalma Barrage and Kelo project in Chhattisgarh earlier this month.
Jharsuguda/Sambalpur: The Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal, which reached Jharsuguda district in Odisha on Friday evening, commenced its 10-day field inspection from Hirakud Dam in Sambalpur district here today. The team’s visit is expected to review the ongoing dispute over sharing of waters between Odisha and Chhattisgarh governments at a time when drying of the river is posing serious challenges.
On Saturday, the team after halting at Ashok Niwas in Burla (Sambalpur) the previous night, embarked on a detailed field inspection at Hirakud to take stock of the dam’s condition.
Official sources said the Tribunal is scheduled to inspect at least 30 locations for the survey and the tour will continue till May 28 after which the members will leave for Delhi from Bhubaneswar. While the assessment of the Hirakud Dam and Mahanadi catchment area will continue till May 23, it will conclude with an inspection of Mahanadi delta system.
On Sunday, the team will visit Chiplima Powerhouse, Attabira Branch Canal and Sasan Canal followed by Ib Thermal Power Station and dam project site in Jharsuguda and Sundargarh on May 22. The tribunal will then visit Upper Jonk dam site in Nuapada district the following day. The members will also visit Tikarapada dam site, Chilika lake, its river mouth and barrages in on Birupa and Mahanadi rivers along with assessing water flow in Daya, Bhargavi and Kushabhadra rivers which form part of Mahanadi delta. The team will also visit Naraj barrage site in Cuttack.
In the first phase of the survey, the tribunal had visited the Kalma Barrage and Kelo project in Chhattisgarh earlier this month. Incidentally, the neighbouring state government had opened 17 gates of Kalma Barrage just ahead of the team’s visit.
Constituted by the Centre in 2018, the three-member tribunal is headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar of the Supreme Court along with Justices Ravi Ranjan and Indermeet Kaur Kochhar of Patna and Delhi High Courts, respectively. Apart from the members of the Tribunal, officials of the Water Resources departments, technical teams and law experts from both Odisha and Chhattisgarh are part of the team.
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