Bhubaneswar: The Odisha chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, has urged the prime minister Narendra Modi to constitute the Mahanadi River Tribunal immediately.

Patnaik, in a letter to the prime minister on Friday, has stated that the supreme court in its order on 23.01.2018 has directed the Central government to constitute the Tribunal within a month under Section 4(1) of the Act 1956 for adjucating the inter-state water dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh in respect of river Mahanadi.

“The judgement, as a first step, has brought a sense of relief to the people of Odisha by way of protecting its age old rights and interest in the waters of Mahanadi. I would like to emphaise that 60% of the population of Odisha depends on the waters for river Mahanadi for meeting the needs of irrigation and drinking water. The ecology and the environment dependent on Mahanadi is far too important to be ignored.”

While requesting the prime minister to constitute the tribunal complying to the apex court order, Patnaik has also sought the intervention of the prime minister for a direction from the union ministry of water resources to the Chhattishgarh government for stoppage of constructions of dams and barrages on the up steam of the river Mahanadi.

“If the construction of these ongoing works is not stopped immediately, then my government would be forced to meet a situation of fait accompli frustrating the adjudication under the provisions of the Act of 1956 enacted by the parliament pusuant to the Article 262(1) of the Indian Constitution”, the chief minister has pointed out in his letter to the PM.