मंगलवार, 13 दिसंबर 2016

Minutes of Tripartite Meeting on Mahanadi Water dispute held in New Delhi

Minutes  of the meeting of Chief Ministers of Odisha and Chhatisgarh held under  the Chairpersonship  of  Union Minister  for  Water Resources, RD & GR to consider  various water resources issues  in Mahanadi  Basin  on 17.9.2016  at 12.00 noon  at Shram Shakti Bhawan, New Delhi

Just after tripartite meeting, RTI Application was submitted  on 19.9.16 to Dept. of Water Resources, Govt. of Odisha  seeking  the  following  information

vi. Provide copy of the documents which was presented in tripartite meeting for discussion with Chhatisgarh Govt. facilitated  by Uma Bharati, Minister for Water resources.
vii. Provide information about details of outcome of the tripartite meeting  and copy of press release given by Chief Minister

Similarly, on dated 26.9.16, RTI Application  was  filed to Ministry of Water Resources, Govt. of India   seeking  the following information

1.        Provide copy of the proceedings of the meeting on   Mahanadi water dispute issue between Odisha and Chhatisgarh held on 17.9.16.
2.        Provide copy of the documents like memorandum or any letter presented by Govt. of Odisha   to Central Govt. on Mahanadi Water dispute from July to Sept. 2016.
3.        Provide copy of the document, if any presented   by the representative of Govt. of Odisha in the meeting held under Chairmanship of Minister for Water Resources on 17.9.16.

While the PIO, Dept. of Water Resources  denied to provide me the information,  the CPIO, Ministry of Water Resources, Govt. of India provided the proceedings  of the   tripartite meeting on 2nd Dec. 16. It was also found from the letter of Central Water commission that the said report has been shared with State Govt.  Despite availability of information, PIO, Dept. of Water Resources, Govt. of Odisha  kept the information secret.

Extract from  the Proceedings  of the meeting is as follows.

  An inter-state  Meeting  was held  on 17.9.16 under the chairmanship  of  Shushri Uma Bharati, Hon’ble Union Minister, Ministry of Water Resources, RD &GR with  Sri Naveen Patnaik,  Hon’ble  Chief Minister of Odisha and Dr. Raman Singh, Hon’ble  Chief Minister of Chhatisgarh to  consider  various water resources  issues  in Mahanadi basin.  The meeting  was  attended  by  Shri Brij Mohan Agrawal, Hon’ble Minister  Water Resoures, Chhatisgarh , Shri Debi Prasad  Mishra, Hon’ble Minister Industries , S & ME Odisha, Shri Pushpendra Singhdeo, Hon’ble  Minister  H&UD, Odisha ,  senior officers of  both the states , MOWR and Central Water Commission  ( CWC).

At the outset, the Hon’ble Union Minister welcomed the participants. She directed the  officers  of the MOWR to present  the water scenario  in the Mahanadi basin  followed by presentation by two states.  Initiating  the discussions, Dr. Anarjit Singh , Officer on Special Duty, told  about  the decisions taken  in the Chief Secretary- level  inter-state meeting  on 29.7.2016  and stated that  both the states  had agreed to  share the  data  related to  water resources  projects.  He also stressed the need for establishment of Joint-Control Board.    Thereafter, Director-Hydrology, CWC made the presentation about water scenario in Mahanadi basin.  He explained  the state-wise  details  of the drainage areas in the Mahanadi basin , major water resources, distribution of catchment area,  structures and projects, The 29 year  data of run-off observed  at the three terminal sites  of CWC upstream of Hirakud Dam  both during monsoon and non-monsoon  did not show any downward trend. Further, the annual inflows to Hirakud dam both during monsoon and non-monsoon for the last 29 years also did not show any decreasing trend.

This was followed by  Presentations  by  Chief Secretary,  Govt. of Chhatisgarh  who gave an overview  of the  comparative status  of water resources  in Chhatisgarh  and Odisha , river  basis i Chhatisgarh , drainage  and inflow profile  and analysis of  Mahanadi Basin  and at Hirakud Dam.  He  also touched  upon  the various ways  in which Govt. of Odisha  is utilising  the Hirakud  waters, highlighting  the  change  in scope  of the original  intent in this project. With regard to  six barrages  which are under construction on Mahanadi ( namely samoda, Sheorinarayan, Basantpur, Mironi, Saradih and Kalma)   , he  stated  that  these  are minor  structures  and no  diverse weirs.  These six barrages have no canals and as such they will store  only monsoon water.  Proposed aggregate irrigation area from all six barrages  is 3,149  hectares through pumps.  Since each project individually has less that 2,000 hectares irrigation potential, hence each of them falls under Minor Irrigation Project category. Storage capacity of  all these  barrages  taken together  is only 274 MCM. Total industrial use  in non-monsoon  season  will be  only 552 MCM. Thus, utilisation from non-monsson  flow   will  only be  ( 552-274) 288 MCM, whereas, average  non-monsoon flow  at Hirakud  is 4446 MCM. He reiterated  the position  of  Chhatisgarh  that  a Joint Control Board  may be constituted  as per agreement  between  erstwhile  undivided  state of Madhya Pradesh  and the state of Odisha  dated 28.4.1983. to look ito  the complete range of the  issues  in Mahanadi basin.  He requested  for establishment of  CWC  gauging  station  immediate upstream of  Hirakud  at the inter-state  border  on Mahanadi, Kelo and Mad rivers to  monitor  exact  flow  of  monsoon ad non-monsoon.  The  Chief Secretary, Chhatisgarh  also presented  a list of  projects  undertaken  by Odisha , downstream of Mahanadi  in which the  Govt. of Odisha  did not consult  the upper riparian state.

The Principal  Secretary ( Irrigation ) , Odisha  in his presentation  after explaining  the  profile  of  Mahanadi basin , elaborated  that  in its  original  intent, the scope  of Hirakud Dam  included flood control,  irrigation,  power, transport  and domestic use.  He stated that non-monsoon inflow in Hirakud dam, during the last 13 years, has shown a downward trend. He  expressed apprehension that  the  under construction projects in Chhatisgarh  will adversely  affect  the future  flows  downstream  in  Odisha.  He referred to some unauthorised constructions especially projects of Chhatsigarh considered by CWC with respect to which   they  had not received any  information.  The  six  barrages  mentioned  by Chhatisgarh  were in his  opinion  industrial barrages , with  storage  potential  of 829  MCM  of water  even  during  non-monsoon  season.

The  Development Commissioner, Odisha  briefed  the  house  about fragile  ecology  of coastal areas  and Mahanadi flood  plains.  He pleaded  that  a high level  Inter-disciplinary  Expert Committee  may be constituted  comprising  members from  both the states , water  experts, a long with  members  from  Central  Ministers  to  look into  the  comprehensive  water  and environmental  issues  in the Mahanadi basin.

Hon’ble  Chief  Minister of Odisha  desired that  work on  all  ongoing  projects  in Mahanadi  basin  in Chhatisgarh  state  should be stopped for three months and  an expert  Committee  may be formed  to study  the  impact  of projects  in Mahanadi  basin  and give its report  within three months.

Hon’ble  CM of Chhatisgarh  said that  57%  of Mahanadi  water  is flowing  to sea  without  any use in basin.  The Mahanadi river  has sufficient  water  to meet the requirements  of  both the states. He desired that  they should agree to form  Joint Control Board  as mentioned  in 1983 agreement.   Further, Govt. of Chhatisgarh  stated that  most of the ongoing  projects  were started  10 years back  and they are  in their final stages of completion.  Hence,  it  is not  possible  to stop  the construction  work  on these projects.

Hon’ble  Union Minister stated that  since water  is  in the state list of the  constitution, the Union Govt.  has no  authority  to intervene  in the state  subject.  However,  the Union Govt.  can facilitate  the state  Governments  to resolve inter-state  issues , if  required. 

After detailed discussions on various issues following decisions were taken in the meeting. 

i.      Special Committee under chairmanship of Dr.  Amrajit Singh, ( OSD)  will be formed.  The  committee  will  list out the water  resources projects  in  Odisha  and Chhatisgarh  those have been constructed  or  under  construction  without  approval of  Techical  Advisory  Committee ( TAC)  of MoWR. Different Teams will be sent to these states for this work.  The committee will submit a report  within a week.  However, the Hon’ble Union Minister asked the states to  put on hold  the project construction  works for  one week.  

ii.    The gauge and discharge  sites  will  be opened  at  inter-state  border  of Odisha  and  Chhatisgarh  at a location, for  effective  measurement  of flows  from  Chhatisgarh  Catchment  into Hirakud dam.

iii.  A  detailed  study  of water  availability  of Mahanadi  basin  may be  carried out  by National Institute  of Hydrology. , Roorkee.

iv.  Govt. of Odisha suggested formation of an expert committee.  Although Chhatisgarh  was in favour  of establishment  of Joint  Control Board  for long term solution,  it agreed to formation of an expert  committee  as suggested by  Odisha.  The members of expert  committee will include  experts  from different fields ad representatives of the  both the states.

The Hon’ble  Central  Minister requested  both the states  to take care of  the needs  of the neighbouring  states and to remain sensitive  to each other.  She stated  that  water  is for love, not for  wrangling.

Comments:  The State Govt. should  put the information in public domain  about the details of follow up  taken   to carry out the decision taken  in the meeting agreed by both the warring parties.

Pradip Pradhan


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