Negotiation Committee Constituted on Mahanadi and its Tributaries

mahanadi_basinMinistry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has constituted a negotiations committee on Mahanadi and its tributaries with an objective to assess availability and utilisation of waters of Mahanadi and its tributaries. It will also examine existing water sharing agreements on river Mahanadi and will consider claims of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand regarding availability and utilisation of waters of these rivers.


  • The committee has been set up with reference to complaint of State of Odisha under section 3 of the ISRWD Act, 1956 regarding utilisation of waters of Mahandi Basin.
  • The committee will be chaired by Member (WP&P), Central Water Commission and will have 11 other members comprising representatives from the States of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand, Union Ministries of Agriculture, Environment Forest and Climate Change, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, India Meteorological Department and Central Water Commission.
  • The committee has been asked to submit its report within three months.

About Mahanadi River

mahanadi-river-delta

Mahanadi valley is best known for its fertile soil and flourishing agriculture. Before the Hirakud dam was built, the river carried a huge amount of silt and its delta had one of the highest yields per acre in the whole of India. At present, agriculture primarily depends on a network of canals that arise from the river. Rice, oilseeds and sugarcane are the principal crops.

The major tributaries of Mahanadi are Seonath, Jonk, Hasdo, Mand, Ib, Ong, Tel etc.

Hirakud Dam on Mahanadi River

hirakund-dam

  • Built across Mahanadi River, about 15 km from Sambalpur in Odisha.
  • Built in 1957, the dam is one of the world’s longest earthen dam.
  • Behind the dam extends a lake, Hirakud Reservoir, 55 km long.
  • Initially proposed Sir M. Visveswararya in 1937, Central Waterways, Irrigation and Navigation Commission took up the work, and in 1946, Sir Howthrone Lewis, then the Governor of Orissa, laid the foundation stone of the Hirakud Dam.
  • There are two observation towers on the dam one at each side. One is “Gandhi Minar” and the other one is “Nehru Minar”. Both the observation towers present breathtaking views of the lake.
  • Helps control floods in the Mahanadi delta and irrigates 75,000 square kilometres of land. Hydroelectricity is also generated.
  • Cattle Island is located in one of the extreme points of Hirakud Reservoir, a natural wonder.  Completely inhabited by wild cattle, without any trace of humans.
  • Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary is located here.

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