Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for constituting Tribunal as per section 4(1) of Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 to resolve Mahanadi dispute. Key issues raised by him in the letter:
o After assuring Hon’ble Supreme Court of constituting a Tribunal to resolve the dispute, Centre changed its stand completely by stating that the Tribunal can’t be constituted
o State of Odisha and Madhya Pradesh had agreed to constitute a Joint Control Board, which is being used as a pretext for not constituting a Tribunal. JCB was intended for monitoring of certain joint projects contemplated in 1983 by Odisha and Madhya Pradesh (predecessor of Chhattisgarh). None of those were taken up and hence JCB was never even constituted.
o Federal scheme of Indian Constitution does not countenance forcing the unwilling State to negotiate or deliberate particularly in a situation like this where opposite State is using negotiation as a handle to delay to adjudication.
o Since Chhattisgarh Government has unilaterally and surreptitiously gone ahead with construction of dams and barrages on Mahanadi basin, State Government does not see any purpose in further negotiating
o Hirakud Dam in downstream Odisha has already suffered and is likely to suffer heavily much to the prejudice of people of Odisha
Chief Minister Shri Patnaik demanded constitution of Tribunal at the earliest to protect the interests of 4.5 crore people of Odisha.