BHUBANESWAR: Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday said a separate tribunal will be constituted to resolve the Mahanadi water dispute with Chhattisgarh government.
The State Government has moved the Ministry of Water Resources last month urging formation of a tribunal for Mahanadi water disputes. However, the Union Government's recent decision to form a single
tribunal to resolve all inter-state water disputes had caused apprehension that the process to resolve the Mahanadi issue would be delayed.
Pradhan made it clear that since the Mahanadi water dispute needs an immediate solution, a separate tribunal will be formed to resolve the disputes under the existing law.
The proposal to form a single tribunal to resolve all inter-states water disputes, which is under consideration, is a separate issue, he told reproters at Chipilima in Sambalpur district.
It has been seen that the direction of the tribunal is often ignored and overlooked. The proposed single tribunal should be given constitutional right. It should act as a quasi judicial forum, he added.
Union Water Resources Secretary Shashi Shekhar said on Sunday said the government has also proposed to float some benches by amending the Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956 to look into disputes as and when required. The proposed benches of the tribunal will cease to exist once the disputes are resolved.
The state government had filed a statutory complaint on November 22, before the Centre under Section three of the Inter State Water Disputes Act of 1956, for the constitution of Inter State Tribunal to resolve the water dispute between the two states.
Meanwhile, the state government has filed an injunction suit in the Supreme Court demanding restriction on Chhattisgarh government's unilateral construction of dams and barrages on the Mahanadi river.