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first_imgWith the dispute over Mahanadi river water sharing between Odisha and Chhattisgarh reaching a flashpoint, experts and civil society groups have urged the two governments to discuss all the contentious issues for a meaningful solution.At the second Odisha river conference, which concluded on Monday, experts said competitive politics over the Mahanadi water sharing was only making the matter complicated.A group of civil society organisations, river and water experts and academics from across the country and the two States gathered here to build an Inter-State Cooperation Framework for the resolution of the Mahanadi river water dispute.Politics over conflicts“There have been a lot of politics and inter-State river water conflicts in the country. But in the process of fighting, let the rights of the river as an ecological entity not get snatched. While the dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh is rife, it is unfortunate that both the States are treating the Mahanadi as a commodity and not a natural resource,” said Ranjan Panda, the convenor of Water Initiatives Odisha.“No doubt Chhattisgarh has constructed many dams and barrages without the consent of Odisha and has obstructed a lot of water, but that does not mean we can conclude that Chhattisgarh has siphoned off water from Odisha’s share,” said Mr. Panda.“We need a comprehensive understanding and analysis of the impacts of all these structures and availability of water in the basin. Let the tribunal decide how to make such an analysis and instruct Chhattisgarh to stop these obstructions if they are illegal,” Mr. Panda said, urging the two States not to close the door on dialogue.Internationally renowned climate change expert Saroj Dash hoped good sense would prevail and the two States would climb down from their stand and make space for dialogue. “The premise for the discussion should be cooperation, not conflict,” Mr. Dash said.“We don’t need either Odisha-centric or Chhattisgarh-centric approach. People’s rights on the river should be the guiding principle for dialogue,” said Premananda Panda, an academic.Mahanadi, the sixth largest river in India, originates from Chhattisgarh and enters the Bay of Bengal travelling 851 km, of which 357 km lies in Chhattisgarh and 494 km in Odisha. Odisha has been grumbling that the Mahanadi is witnessing an 80% reduction of water flow in non-monsoon months while Chhattisgarh says it is only storing river water.last_img read more

first_imgOTTAWA – The federal government is delaying a decision on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project to June 18.Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi says the extended deadline will give the government more time to complete its consultations with Indigenous groups.The National Energy Board endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline on Feb. 22, starting the clock on a 90-day period for Ottawa to make a decision.Minister Sohi releases a statement on the #GoC’s plan for a decision on the #TransMountain Expansion Project https://t.co/HT7QgQTsA6— GC Newsroom (@NewsroomGC) April 18, 2019That would have set the previous deadline for a decision at May 23.Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley said that would be the case on Monday, the day before the provincial election.“We expect a positive decision next month and when the pipeline is built, it will stand as a testament to a province as a whole that stood united. A province that did what it took to get the job done.”Construction of the pipeline expansion was put on hold last year after the Federal Court of Appeal ruled the board failed to consider marine impacts and the government needed to do more Indigenousconsultation.The NEB report in February made 16 new recommendations for the government, including reducing noise of ferries and incentives and requirements for quiet vessel design. With files from The Canadian Presslast_img read more