Bhubaneswar: The Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal on Saturday postponed its hearing on the interim petition of Odisha to December 15 after the Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra sought eight weeks’ time to file a counter.
The tribunal also fixed the hearing of the original petition of Odisha on January 12 next year.
In its interim application, the Odisha government has mentioned the issue of illegal construction of barrages on the upper catchments of Mahanadi and arbitrary control of the inflow of the river water to Odisha by the Chhattisgarh government.
As informed by the Water Resources secretary Pradeep Jena, the state government has filed a petition against Chhattisgarh to stop the ongoing construction of barrages on Mahanadi as well as the inflow of water. Besides, it has also filed an interim case apart from the main case.
Earlier on May 30 this year, the Mahanadi River Disputes Tribunal had directed Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra to send the name of their representatives by August 6.
It had also made it clear that hearing of the case will go on in the absence of the state representative if his/her name is not sent within the stipulated time frame.
The Centre had constituted the Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal on March 12 this year according to the provisions of the Inter-State River Water Dispute Act, 1956 following the directive of the Supreme Court on January 23.
The Centre on April 17 had shared the terms of reference (ToR) of the Mahanadi Water Dispute Tribunal (MWDT) with its chairman and Supreme Court judge Justice A M Khanwilkar.