Mahanadi debate ends in Assembly; Minister says Centre delaying ToR for tribunal

Bhubaneswar: Discussion on Mahanadi water sharing dispute concluded today in Odisha Assembly with Water Resources Minister Niranjan Pujari informing the House regarding the current situation and steps taken by the State on the issue.

Pujari said that water flow in the river has come down by 40% during non-monsoon season and this is due to the barrages constructed by the Chhattisgarh Government in the upstream of Mahanadi unilaterally. As many as six barrages have been constructed in the upper catchment which is being operated by the neighbouring State unilaterally, he informed.

Expressing concern over the delay in giving Term of Reference for formation of a special tribunal to resolve the issue, the minister stated that the matter has been taken to the Ministry of Water Resources.

There is a need to put pressure on the Centre which is the primary focus of the State government. Unless the illegal constructions are stopped in Chhattisgarh, Odisha will continue to suffer, Pujari told the House.

Even as the NGT has imposed a stay, the Chhattisgarh government is still continuing its construction of Mohmela Sirpur’ barrage on Mahanadi river at Aarang in Raipur district. The Odisha government has received such information from a reliable source, the Minister maintained.

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