Bhubaneswar, Apr 13 (PTI) Odisha Assembly Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat today said he would soon convey the consensus and concern of the House to the Centre on the Mahanadi water issue.
The members of ruling BJD and Opposition Congress expressed concern over delay in issuance of the Term of Reference (ToR) for the Mahanadi Water Dispute Tribunal by the Centre.
Amat announced this after a four-hour-long discussion on the Mahanadi water dispute with neighbouring Chhattisgarh in the Assembly.
Earlier, government chief whip Amar Prasad Satpathy moved a motion, saying, “In view of the consensus opinion and concern, the House urge upon the Central government to issue immediately a necessary reference… referring to complaint filed by the state of Odisha on Mahanadi water dispute in order to make the Mahanadi Water Dispute Tribunal functional in compliance of the order of the Supreme Court.” During the debate, state Water Resources Minister Niranjan Pujari expressed concern over the Central government’s delay in making the ToR for the newly-constituted Tribunal.
“Though one month has passed since the formation of the Tribunal, the Central Government has not issued Letter of reference. Therefore, the Tribunal has not been functional,” Pujari said.
He, however, pointed out that though the Union Water Resources Minister while replying to a question in the Lok Sabha has stated that the Centre issued the Letter of Reference to the Tribunal, the state government has not so far got a copy of the document.
“The state government will be able to file petition in the Tribunal within two-three weeks after getting a copy of the Letter of Reference,” Pujari told the House.
The minister referred to a recent order of the National Green Tribunal Eastern Zone Bench, Kolkata that has asked the Chhattisgarh government not to construct any new project on the Mahanadi basin.
Pujari also alleged that the Chhattisgarh government violated the NGT’s status quo order on any new project. “We have information that the Chhattisgarh government has issued tender for construction of another barrage in Mahanadi basin in violation of the NGT’s order,” he said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.