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Patnaik said the terms of reference of the committee indicate that it is not intended to negotiate on the water dispute raised by Odisha govenrment but is designed to record its views of findings.

“While section 4(1) of the Act of 1956 mandates the central govenrment to negotiate by mediation, it does not empower the central government to record its findings on the water dispute, such as assessment of yield which may cause prejudice to the claims of the riprarian states before the tribunal is constituted,” he claimed.

Stressing that the negotiation should be between constitutional functionaries and if any nomination of official is permissible, the chief secretary or principal secretary to the government in water resources department should be the nominee, Patnaik said.

The choice belongs to the state and not the central government, he said, adding that the nomination of engineer-in-chief of WRD of Odisha by the office memorandum dated January 19, 2017 as the member of the committee is not appropriate.

Besides, the member of CWC who has been nominated as the chairman of the committee, which comprises six nominees of the central government agencies and one member each from other non-contesting basin states of Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh in all covering less than 0.5 per cent of the total catchment of the inter-state Mahanadi basin.

“The outcome from such committee with represntatives from states who have no real stakes will lack focus and unnecessarily delay the whole process,” Patnaik said.

(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)