Bhubaneswar: The CPI Sunday criticised the Centre for not forming a tribunal to resolve the Mahanadi water row between Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

The CPI national general secretary, D Raja, said “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.” The Rajya Sabha member added, “If the Centre continues to delay constitution of the tribunal, it would amount to extending favour to Chhattisgarh and letting down Odisha”.

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

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

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.

Meanwhile, BJP national executive committee member Bijaya Mohapatra has slammed the Centre’s decision to oppose the Odisha government’s demand for establishment of a Inter-State River Water Dispute Tribunal for Mahandi river.