Centre unfair on Odisha in not forming Mahanadi tribunal: Raja

Bhubaneswar: The CPI on Sunday slammed the Centre for failing to form a tribunal to resolve the Mahanadi water row between Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

"It is unfair on the part of the Centre not to accept Odisha's demand for formation of a tribunal to resolve Mahanadi river water issue with Chhattisgarh," CPI National Secretary D Raja told reporters here.

The Central government had four days ago filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, alleging that Odisha did not provide sufficient information for setting up a tribunal to resolve the dispute.

It also said that both the states can resolve the issue through negotiation.

If the Centre continues to delay constitution of the tribunal, it would amount to extending favour to Chhattisgarh and letting down Odisha, the Rajya Sabha MP said.

Odisha has been opposing Chhattisgarh's plans to build 13 barrages and seven pick up weirs (small dams) on the upstream of Mahanadi river. The BJD government asserted that the construction would adversely affect the interests of its farmers.

"If Mahanadi water issue is not resolved soon, the livelihood of around two crore people in Odisha would be in jeopardy," Raja said.

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