**Bhubaneswar:** In a move that can be dubbed as good news for Odisha, the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday ordered the Chhattisgarh government to withdraw the writ petition it had filed challenging the stay order of the Kolkata bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on 31 projects of the government on the Mahanadi River.
The Chhattisgarh Government was warned by the Kolkata HC that if it did not immediately withdrew the petition it ran the risk of being dismissed.
To reflect and gain time over the issue, the Chhattisgarh government requested shifting the next hearing on the matter to the 2nd of November, to which the court obliged.
It’s worth noting that the Chhattisgarh Government had in total planned 58 projects over the Mahanadi River, out of which construction work had already started on 51 projects, which upon completion will not only have negative effects on the environment in Odisha, but also on the livelihood of its people with considerably less water flowing into the state.
Concerned with the damaged caused to the state and its people, Sudarsan Das, Convener of Agami Odisha, a social organisation had filed a petition with the National Green Tribunal, Eastern Zone Bench, Kolkata, which then immediately issued an order on July 26 asking the Chhattisgarh Government to not commence construction work on all types of projects over the Mahanadi River in Chhattisgarh.
However, the National Green Tribunal order was only effective on those projects on which the Chhattisgarh Government had not yet started construction work. Thus, out of the 58 projects, which the Chhattisgarh Government had planned only 7 projects where work had not began were affected.