Odisha government, which has sought the Centre’s nod for formation of a tribunal to resolve Mahanadi water dispute, has asked Chhattishgarh to stop construction and operation of ongoing barrages as also future projects planned on the river. “We have requested the Chhattishgarh government to stop work in the under construction projects and release water as earlier in the already completed projects,” Chief Secretary A P Padhi told reporters.
Padhi in a letter to his Chhattishgarh counterpart Vivek Dhand, said the Odisha government had on November 19 filed complaint under Section 3 of Inter State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 seeking constitution of a tribunal for adjudication of the water disputes.
He said in the letter that Chhattisgarh government has planned utilisation of 27.48 million acre feet (MAF) of water from the river. “This is far in excess from the equitable share of Chhattisgarh in the waters of River Mahanadi, which is only 8.3 MAF.”
The letter said Chhattisgarh’s share in the waters of Mahanadi river is not more than 8.3 MAF in the minimum flow of 20.61 MAF as assessed in 1945 and 2.5 MAF in the surplus flow as total surplus flow annually is 6.17 MAF.
Therefore the excess utilisation of 16.65 MAF of water under existing, ongoing and future expansion of the projects has affected Odisha, Padhi said adding in future it is likely to affect the equitable share of Odisha of the Mahandai waters.
Padhi said Chhattisgarh has planned six barrages on its own without consulting Odisha for utilisation of 0.84 MAF of water, which cannot be sustained in law or in equity.
He also urged Dhand to immediately stop construction and operation of seven ongoing projects of Kalo, Arpa, Sondhar, Sukhanalla, Ghumariya, Mongra II, and Samodanisda II.