Water Secretary hands over reference of Mahanadi Water Disputes to Tribunal Chairman

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NEW DELHI: Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Secretary Upendra Prasad Singh has handed over reference of Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal under Section 5 (1) of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act (ISRWD), 1956 to Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Chairman of Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal and Judge of the Supreme Court today.

On 19.11.20116, the Odisha Government had submitted complaint under Section 3 of the ISRWD Act, 1956 to the Central Government for seeking constitution of Inter-State Water Disputes Tribunal for the adjudication of water disputes in respect of Mahanadi river between the riparian states of Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

On this, the Ministry constituted a Negotiation Committee which held two meetings, but the negotiations were not successful. Odisha also filed Original Suit 1 of 2017 in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court in their Order dated 23.01.2018 directed the Central Government to constitute a Tribunal for adjudication of disputes on river Mahanadi and also advised Odisha to present its plea before the Tribunal.

The Central Government constituted Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal on 12.03.2018 with the following composition:-

Justice A.M. Khanwilkar – Chairman
Judge of the Supreme Court of India

Dr. Justice Ravi Ranjan, – Member
Judge of the Patna High Court

Justice Indermeet Kaur Kochhar, – Member
Judge of the Delhi High Court

Justice Khanwilkar was briefed by Secretary (WR, RD & GR) today, about the profile of Mahanadi river, development of water resource projects by various states and dispute in sharing of its waters.

Justice was also briefed about the legal provisions for adjudication of water disputes. The Secretary (WR, RD & GR) assured the Justice Khanwilkar that Central Government is taking all necessary steps for early functioning of the Tribunal and sought his guidance on the road-map for resolving Mahanadi dispute.