Bhubaneswar: Amid the ongoing tug of war over the Mahanadi water dispute between the adjoining States of Odisha and Chhattisgarh and the matter being sub-judice in both the Supreme Court and Tribunal, the members of the Assembly were today informed that the water flow to Odisha is continuously going thinner due to the several barrages built by Chhattisgarh.
Replying to a question posed by senior Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati, Odisha Water Resources Minister Raghunandan Dash informed the Assembly that the Chhattisgarh Government is obstructing the flow of Mahanadi water by constructing scores of barrages following which Mahanadi’s water flow will further reduce. The water in the river is continuously declining during the non-monsoon periods. The matter has already been brought to the notice of Supreme Court.
The Minister also apprised the House that the State Government had lodged a statutory complaint with the Central Government in 2016 urging for a solution. In response to the Odisha Government’s complaint, the Centre has constituted Mahanadi Water Dispute Tribunal (MWDT) in 2018.
He also informed the House that Odisha Government has submitted an I.A with the MWDT to ascertain the water flow of Mahanadi during the non-monsoon periods and the matters relating to the Mahanadi water dispute is sub judice with the MWDT.
Later talking to media outside the House, the Water Resources Minister said, “CWC has returned seven out of the 15 project reports (feasibility and DPR). The projects have been stayed. As the matter is sub judice with the tribunal, CWC has sent back those reports. A previous standing order of the apex court is in force for which the projects have been stayed.”
Responding to media queries, the Minister stated, “There isn’t any problem for us to build barrages and store water in the downstream of Mahanadi. As a lot of barrages have been built in the upper stream, the downstream will automatically dry up.”