Bhubaneswar: With the newly-formed Mahanadi Tribunal scheduled to hear the ongoing dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over Mahanadi water September 29, the state government has initiated the process to strongly place its arguments before it.
Sources said, the state government has formed a five-member legal committee comprising senior lawyers of the Supreme Court, having experience in dealing with cases relating to inter-state river water disputes.
The five members of the committee are: Mohan B Chatterjee and Mahesh Agrawal, Radheshyam Jena (currently dealing with Polavaram and Bansadhara cases), Dr Anindita Pujari and Ranbir Singh.
Apart from the legal committee, the state has also begun consulting technical experts including former hydrologists of the Central Water Commission, senior professors of hydrology of the Indian Institute of Technology and former hydrologists of the Roorkee-based National Institute of Hydrology.
Besides, talks are on with the overseas hydrologists to seek their expert opinion.
Official sources said before the hearing begins, the state government will submit a 500-page interim application to the Mahanadi Tribunal.
Following orders of the Supreme Court January 23 this year, the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation had formed a three-member Mahanadi Tribunal March 12 in line with the Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956, to set aside the Mahanadi river water sharing disputes between Odisha and Chhattisgarh following the approval by the Union Cabinet.
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has nominated Justice AM Khanwilkar of the apex court as the chairman and Dr Justice Ravi Ranjan of the Patna High Court and Justice Indermeet Kaur Kochhar of the Delhi High Court as members of the Tribunal.