Naveen rejects negotiation committee of centre to resolve Mahanadi water dispute

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday rejected centre’s negotiation committee for resolving the ongoing Mahanadi water sharing dispute with Chhattisgarh government.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Chief Minister said, “The Committee will only delay the setting up of a Tribunal which will allow Chhattisgarh to complete the construction of the disputed projects.”

He said committee is not in accordance with the provisions of Sec 4(1) of the Inter State River Water Disputes Act of 1956 and its composition is arbitrary.

Requesting to direct the Chhattisgarh government to stop constructions on the Mahanadi river basin immediately, he said the Prime Minister to instruct the Ministry of Water Resources to withdraw the office memorandum constituting the committee and initiate the constitution of a Tribunal as the water disputes raised in the statutory complaint of Odisha government cannot be resolved by negotiations.

“However, as a last and final chance to settle the dispute by negotiations, I am open to attend a meeting at your level, if the meeting of the Chief Ministers of the riparian States is called immediately,” said the Chief Minister.