Bhubaneswar: The supreme court Tuesday directed the Centre to constitute a tribunal within a month to revolve the inter-state Mahanadi river dispute between Odisha and Chhattishgarh.

A division bench comprising justices SA Bobde and L Nageswara Rao heard the dispute between the two neighbouring states over sharing the of the Mahanadi water and directed the Centre to issue a notification regarding formation of the tribunal within a month.

The Centre, filing an affidavit , had shifted the blame on Odisha government for failing to provide relevant facts and figures required for constitution of such tribunal despite several attempts by it to seek those. In December 2017  the Centre had told the apex court that there is no need to constitute an inter-state tribunal as the matter can be solved through negotiation between the two states with the intervention of the Centre.

The Odisha government, filing a 60-page counter affidavit, pointed out that the Centre has provided erroneous information to the supreme court while violating the law by not constituting the tribunal.

The Centre had committed before the apex court on October 9, that a decision with regard to constitution of a tribunal would be taken before November 19. Moreover, the then union minister of state for water resources Sanjeev Kumar Balyan,  while replying to a query by Odisha parliament member  A V Swamy, had told the Rajya Sabha  on July 31 last year that the draft Cabinet Note on the formation of the tribunal has been prepared, the state government had pointed out.