BHUBANESWAR: Stating that the Supreme Court order on Mahanadi river water dispute has brought a sense of relief to the people of Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday requested the Centre to implement it forthwith by constituting a tribunal under Section 4(1) of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act (ISRWDA), 1956.
“I request the Centre to implement forthwith the order of the Supreme Court by constituting a tribunal under Section 4(1) of the Act of 1956,” the Chief Minister said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Naveen also requested Modi to instruct the Union Ministry of Water Resources to issue necessary administrative directions under Article 256 of the Constitution to Chhattisgarh to stop construction works on the ongoing projects, particularly six ongoing barrages across the Mahanadi river. “If the construction of these ongoing works is not stopped immediately, then my State would be forced to meet a situation of fait accompli frustrating the adjudication under the provisions of the Act of 1956 enacted by Parliament pursuant to Article 262 (1) of the Constitution of India,” he said.
Referring to the previous letters written by him to the Prime Minister on November 7, November 17 and December 12 of 2017 in this regard, the Chief Minister said in the meantime, the Supreme Court has passed an order on January 23, 2018 directing the Centre to constitute the tribunal within a month for adjucating the inter-State water dispute.
Stating that the judgment, as a first step, has brought a sense of relief to the people of Odisha by protecting its age-old rights and interests in the waters of Mahanadi, the Chief Minister said 60 per cent of people of Odisha depend on it for meeting the needs of irrigation and drinking water. “The ecology and environment dependent on Mahanadi is far too important to be ignored,” he said.