NGT accepts Odisha plea against Chhattisgarh over construction on Mahanadi
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday accepted Odisha’s appeal to penalise Chhattisgarh for violating the green body’s order to stop uncommissioned projects on Mahanadi river.
In July last year, the green tribunal had stayed operation of 31 projects undertaken by the Chhattisgarh government on Mahanadi after social activist Sudarshan Das filed a petition alleging mindless construction of barrages and industrial projects. Das alleged that the construction upstream affected the flow and ecology of the river downstream.
The Chhattisgarh government, however, floated a tender for construction of barrage on a new site on the Mahanadi upstream. Challenging this, the Odisha government filed a petition before the tribunal seeking a criminal case against the Chhattisgarh government.
Accepting Odisha’s plea, the green tribunal’s principal bench asked Chhattisgarh why no criminal case should be lodged against it for violating its order. The bench also issued a notice to Chhattisgarh.
Odisha and Chhattisgarh are locked in a protracted fight over Mahanadi water. The river, which runs 851 km before draining into the Bay of Bengal, fuels lower riparian Odisha’s economy and agriculture. The river courses through at least 20 of Odisha’s 30 districts.
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