Inspection will be done in the first phase from 18 April 2023 to 22 April 2023 and in the second phase from 29 April 2023 to 3 May 2023. These inspections will cover the area from the source of Mahanadi to the state border of Chhattisgarh i.e. district Raigarh. After this, similar inspection will be done in Mahanadi basin area of Odisha State as per separate order of Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal.
Chhattisgarh has the largest Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe population in the country. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes constitute more than 43 percent of the state’s population. Most of the population of Chhattisgarh state is dependent on agriculture and agro-based industries. About 44 percent of the state is covered by forests.
There has never been an inter-state agreement between the states of Odisha and Chhattisgarh to share the water resources of the inter-state river, the Mahanadi, although differences have been resolved in the past. Some attempts were made. At the official level, meetings between the two states were held in the years 1973, 1976 and 1979 between the officials of the state of Odisha and the state of Madhya Pradesh (now Chhattisgarh).
An agreement was signed between the Chief Ministers of the State of Madhya Pradesh and the State of Odisha in 1983 on certain projects located in the Mahanadi basin area, but the agreement was not ratified by the states till the establishment of the tribunal. Not fully implemented.
The Central Water Commission, New Delhi does not have any power to allocate the water of inter-state rivers, therefore the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 is applicable for allocation of water of this inter-state Mahanadi. Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal has been established in compliance with the order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, New Delhi dated 12 March 2018, due to the distribution of water being possible under this.
In which three member legal judges have been nominated as per the notification issued.
Which is as follows:-
1. Hon’ble Mr. Justice A.M.Khanwilkar – Chairman
(Judge Supreme Court New Delhi)
2. Honorable Justice Mr. Dr. Ravi Ranjan – Member
(Judge High Court Patna)
3. Mrs. Justice Indermeet Kaur Kochhar – Member
(Judge High Court New Delhi)
The deadline has been extended till December 2024 by the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti due to expiry of the tribunal’s deadline at present.
The Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal has held 36 hearings so far. According to the order dated March 25, 2023, the availability and utility of water in Mahanadi is to be inspected in two phases in the Mahanadi basin area located in the state of Chhattisgarh.