Chhattisgarh Has Blocked Excess Water Of Mahanadi: Odisha Govt

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government, in an affidavit submitted to the Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal, has claimed that the Chhattisgarh government has blocked excess of river water in the upper catchments of Mahanadi.

On the basis of the hydro statistics of the Central Water Commission (CWC), the state government in its supplementary affidavit has mentioned that out of a total volume of 12.28 million acre feet of water of the Hirakud reservoir used by Odisha, 5.82 million acre feet is utilised during the non-monsoon season. Since the requirement of the volume of non-monsoon water (between November and May) is necessary for the state, the stock of the said volume of water during the non-monsoon season has to be ensured, it has demanded.
As far as sharing of river water between the two states is concerned, out of 20.61 million acre feet of water flow up to the Hirakud reservoir, the water share of Chhattisgarh and Odisha should be 8.33 million acre feet and 12.28 million acre feet respectively. On this basis, the Hirakud reservoir has a requirement of 2 million acre feet of water.

As per the tripartite agreement on Mahanadi water sharing between Odisha, Chhattisgarh and the Centre, Chhattisgarh should release 1.60 million acre feet of water to Odisha during the non-monsoon season. But the neighbouring state, till January 1, 2019, has blocked 2.76 million acre feet by the six barrages it has built on the upstream of Mahanadi, the state government has said in the affidavit.

The Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal, while hearing the interim petition of the Odisha government on December 15 last year, had sought details on the volume of rainwater flow into the Mahanadi in the last 20 years through an affidavit, within two weeks.

The Chhattisgarh government will then be asked to submit a counter affidavit, the Tribunal had said.
The third hearing in the case has been posted to February 9.

The Odisha government, in its interim petition on October 9 last year, had prayed to the Tribunal to order a stay on the ongoing construction of six barrages on the Mahanadi. Admitting the petition, the Tribunal had directed the Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh governments to file their counters. However, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra governments had sought eight weeks’ time for it. Following a hearing, they were directed to file it within six weeks.

The Tribunal had scheduled to take up the hearing of the original petition of Odisha on January 12 this year.