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Mahanadi Water Dispute Tribunal formed

Bhubaneswar: Finally, the Central Government on Monday formed a Mahanadi Water Dispute Tribunal, the long standing demand of Odisha Government to resolve the water sharing dispute between Odisha and its neighbouring Chhattisgarh.

A notification in this regard was released by Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation today.

The three-member tribunal was formed under Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956, the notification read.

The Tribunal will be headed by judge of Supreme Court Justice AM Khanwilkar as Chairperson and Dr Justice Ravi Ranjan of Patna High Court and Justice Indermeet Kaur Kochhar of Delhi High Court as the members, the notification stated.

The trio has been nominated by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and the headquarters of the tribunal will be at New Delhi.

Earlier, the apex court on January 23 had directed the Centre to constitute tribunal within a month to resolve the matter.

Following which on February 20, the Union Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had approved the proposal for adjudication of the dispute on Mahanadi river waters.

As per provisions of the ISRWD, tribunal will have 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.

Notably, the Odisha Government had been demanding constitution of the tribunal for the last one year after negotiations at the level of chief ministers attended by Naveen Patnaik, Raman Singh and then union water resources minister Uma Bharti on September 17, 2016, and meeting between the chief secretaries before that had failed to find out any solution.

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