January 30, 2017 12:30:04 am
A DAY after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik rejected the Centre’s negotiation committee to resolve the Mahanadi water dispute with Chhattisgarh, Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan alleged that Naveen was creating hurdles to serve his political ends. “The Chief Minister has given precedence to his party’s interest, ignoring Odisha’s interest on Mahanadi water issue,” he said, accusing Naveen of double standards.
“As per the Inter State Water Dispute Act, there is a right to form a tribunal. Let a tribunal be formed. Prior to the formation of the tribunal, the Centre went a step forward with the formation of a negotiation committee to resolve the Mahanadi issue. But the Odisha government is not in a mood to agree to it,” he added.
On Saturday, Naveen wrote to PM Narendra Modi, saying that he was concerned by the Centre’s failure in stopping Chhattisgarh from working on projects that were started unilaterally in the Mahanadi basin.
“It has caused serious discontentment in the minds of the people of this state who are largely dependent on the waters of Mahanadi. The committee will only delay the setting up of a tribunal, which will allow Chhattisgarh to complete the construction of the disputed projects. The committee is not in accordance with the provisions of Sec 4(1) of the Inter State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 and its composition is arbitrary,” he said.
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