As it appears, soon, the tribunal would come up to adjudicate the dispute between Odisha and Chhatisgarh on sharing of water of Mahanadi.
The centre has apprised the Supreme Court today during the hearing on the petition of the Odisha Government in this regard.It stated that it would issue notification for the formation of Maahanadi Water dsipute tribunal by November 19.
In fact the Center had ultimately decided to leave the Mahanadi Water sharing dispute between Odisha and Chhatisgarh to the tribunal to decide after the negotiation route failed.
Odisha Chief Secretary A P Padhi in July this year had noted in a letter to Amarjit Singh, Secretary Water Resources “the water disputes in respect of inter state river Mahanadi and its valley cannot be resolved by negotiations.”
There has been a face off between Odisha and Chhatisgarh on Mahanadi water for a year or so after Odisha government realised the threat to the water demand of Hirakud Dam and the habitat by the Mahanadi river system in Odisha due to “unilateral and arbitrary” construction works by Chhatisgarh on the river Mahanadi and raised objection against the works.
The Centrlal Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) mediated two high level meetings- One Chief Ministerial level on 17 Sept. 2016, of the two disputing neighbours but failed to break the ice. While Odisha demanded the works by the Chhatisgarh to be stopped before a fruitful negotiation, the later did not agree to it citing it was too late to stop.
However, Chhatisgarh CM Raman Singh maintains that the Mahanadi has enough water to meet the demands of both the neighbours.57% of the waters of Mahanadi drains into sea witout any use by the riparian states of Mahanadi.