Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal formed
The Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has issued a notification on constituting the Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal, the Central Government has informed.
The Tribunal will have its headquarters at Delhi and will have the following members nominated by the Chief Justice of India are Mr Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Judge, Supreme Court of India as Chairman, Dr Justice Ravi Ranjan, Judge, Patna High Court as Member, Mrs Justice Indermeet Kaur Kochhar, Judge, Delhi High Court as Member.
The Tribunal has been constituted following orders of the Supreme Court dated January 23, 2018 in a suit filed by the Government of Odisha.
The Government of Odisha had sought to refer the water dispute regarding the inter-state river Mahanadi and its river valley to a Tribunal for adjudication under the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956.
Notably, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 20 this year had approved the proposal for adjudication of dispute on Mahanadi River waters.
The Tribunal would determine water sharing among basin States on the basis of the overall availability of water in the complete Mahanadi basin, contribution of each State, the present utilization of water resources in each State and the potential for future development, the Central Government had informed.
It is expected that with adjudication of dispute by the Tribunal, the long-pending dispute between States of Odisha and Chhattisgarh on Mahanadi river will come to a final settlement, it informed.
As per provisions of the Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956, the Tribunal shall consist of a Chairman and two other Members nominated by the Chief Justice of India from amongst the Judges of the Supreme Court or High Court. Further, services of two Assessors who are water resources experts having experience in handling sensitive water-related issues will be provided to advise the Tribunal in its proceedings, it had informed.
Notably, the Union Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation in January last year had also constituted a ‘Negotiations Committee’ to assess availability and utilisation of waters of Mahanadi and its tributaries, .
The Committee as per the Central Government was to examine existing water sharing agreements on river Mahanadi and to consider claims of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand regarding availability and utilisation of waters of these rivers.
The Committee was set up with reference to complaint of State of Odisha under Section 3 of the ISRWD Act, 1956 regarding utilisation of waters of Mahandi Basin.
The committee was decided to be chaired by Member (WP&P), Central Water Commission and have 11 other members comprising representatives from the States of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand, Union Ministries of Agriculture, Environment Forest and Climate Change, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, India meteorological Department and Central Water Commission.
The Committee was asked to submit its report within three months.
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