Centre refuses to set up Mahanadi tribunal

New Delhi: The Centre has given a jolt to the state government by refusing before the SC to constitute a tribunal to adjudicate the dispute between Orissa and Chattisgarh over the Mahanadi River.
The Union Ministry of Water Resources and River Development filed a written statement before the Supreme Court Monday stating its decision not to set up a tribunal for resolving the Mahanadi River dispute as demanded by the Orissa government repeatedly in the SC and in Parliament.
Speaking to Orissa POST, S. Wasim Qadri, the counsel for the Union government in the case said, “A statement on this matter has been filed by the Centre in the Supreme Court stating its decision on Mahanadi Tribunal. The Centre has decided not to set up a tribunal as the Orissa government failed to share facts on the issue.”
He also asked how a tribunal could be set up under such circumstances. However, he refrained from giving more details about the statement filed in the Supreme Court. However, people privy to the statement said the Union government had claimed that the interests of Orissa would not be compromised under any circumstance.
A secretary level officer from the Water Resources Ministry on condition of anonymity claimed that in the statement the ministry had clarified that the Mahanadi controversy can be settled through negotiations and that would continue.
During the last hearing in the Supreme Court, the SC order had said that the Union government had said that a decision would be taken on issuing the notification by November 19, 2017 and the matter would be heard in the second week of December, 2017.
The Union government during the last hearing in the SC reportedly made a statement that the ministry had recommended setting up the tribunal and a final call would be taken soon. In the next hearing which is scheduled any day after Thursday, arguments are likely to be made on whether the Centre had backtracked from its commitments.


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