Bhubaneswar: The State government has incurred a total expenditure of Rs 92,29,023 over a period of five years towards the conduct of its case in the Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal, informed Water Resources Minister Tukuni Sahu in a written reply to a query by BJP Member from Jashipur Ganesh Ram Singh Khuntia in the Odisha Assembly today.
Construction of several barrages/anicuts by the Chhattisgarh government upstream has reduced non-monsoon period inflow of Odisha’s lifeline Mahanadi by half, stated Sahu.
In protest Odisha government as per provisions under section 3 of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act of 1956 lodged a statutory complaint dated 19.11.2016 against it with the Central government on the 21st of November 2016, she said.
She stated that in the meanwhile, the Odisha government by filing an Injunction Suit and two Interlocutory Applications (IA) in the Supreme Court has taken legal steps for necessary action.
In the meanwhile, as per the apex court’s order Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal has been constituted on March 12, 2018, she added.
The Minister said that to ensure its share of water from Chhattisgarh which is upstream of Mahanadi has filed its prayer before the Tribunal through a Statement of Claim, the hearing process of which is underway and in the five years the government has spent a total of Rs 92,29,023 for conducting the case in the Tribunal.
In the meanwhile, the Tribunal after completing 29 sittings has ordered basin States to provide data and file witness affidavits, she added.
In reply to supplementary, the Minister has informed that emphasizing on conservation of water in rivers, the State government has decided to construct 46 In-Stream Storage Structure (ISS) projects.