Odisha has spent Rs 92.29 lakh for Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal: Minister

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government has spent Rs 92.29 lakh in past five years for the Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal to resolve water dispute with neighbouring Chhattisgarh.

State Water Resources Minister Tukuni Sahu informed this to the House during monsoon session of the Assembly.

“So far, a total of Rs 92,29,023 has been spent since 2018 for the Tribunal constituted by the Centre to resolve the Mahanadi water dispute,” the Minister told the House while replying to an un-starred question asked by the BJP MLA Ganesh Ram Singh Khuntia in the Assembly today.

Protesting construction of a number of barrages by Chhattisgarh Government on the upper catchment area of Mahanadi River leading to scarcity of water in the downstream area, Odisha Government had filed a statutory complaint dated November 19, 2019 under section 3 of Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956.

During the period, the State Government had moved the Supreme Court seeking legal action against Chhattisgarh through an injunction suit and two Interlocutory applications to save Mahanadi River water.

As per the directive by the apex court, the Centre on March 12, 2018 had constituted Mahanadi Water Tribunal. The State Government through a statement of claim (SOC) prayed to the Tribunal to ensure supply of water from the upstream of Mahanadi River in Chhattisgarh to Odisha, the hearing of which is underway. The Government has spent total Rs 92,29,023 in this regard in the Tribunal in last 5 years, the Minister stated.

Meanwhile, the Tribunal has held 29 meetings and ordered two states to submit complete data and witness affidavit before it.

Focusing on water conservation in different rivers, the Government has decided to construct 46 In-stream Storage Structure project in the state.

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