Bhubaneswar: The Central Government still believes to give dialogue a chance to resolve the dispute on Mahanadi water sharing between Odisha and Chhatisgarh even though Odisha has categorically expressed its disbelief on it.
On Thursday Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvination Nitin Gadkari offered Odisha government “for a discussion” to resolve the Mahanadi Water issue and aded if the talk failed it could meet the Prime Minister on the issue
The Minister however asserted that Odisha would get its right to a tribunal in three months in case the talk failed. The Center by law is bound to constitute a tribunal, said the Minister during his responce to questions from BJD members in the lok sabha.Odisha is free to go for tribunal, but,He added, the record shows it takes 20-30 years to settle an interstate river water dispute in the tribunal.
Mr. Gadkari also said that the Mahanadi water dispute would automatically find place in the unified tribunal which is slated to come soon into being by a law for river water disputes between states.
He even mentioned that a Joint Control Board under the Memorandum of Understanding of 1983 between the erstwhile Madhya Pradesh and Odisha could be a better option to settle the issue than the tribunal.
However the BJD was not convinced with these reasons of Gdkari to shed its persistent demand for a tribunal. The party in Government in Odisha sticks to stopping the ongoing construction works on Mahanadi by Chhatisgarh as a precondition for any sort of dialogue on the issue.
BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahatab maintained that Odisha Government could not agree with center for talk since it did not ask Chhatisgarh to stop the illegal constructions on Mahanadi.
In Bhubaneswar, BJD spokesman Prasant Nanda came up rejecting Gadkar’s offer. He said,“There is no point, Odisha discussing the issue with Chhattisgarh as the central government has not asked the neighboring state to stop construction work along the upstream of the river Mahanadi,” and added “The state government, in view of the interests of Odisha people, cannot go to the negotiation table unless Chhattisgarh stops construction work. Gadkari’s request is just a part of a conspiracy hatched against Odisha,”
Mahanadi issue: Center still bats for negotiation method to settle the Odisha’s issue with Chhatisgarh over Mahanadi.