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     New Delhi, September 17, 2016: Central Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti today announced a committee to look into the protracted issue of water sharing dispute between Chhattisgarh and Odisha on Mahanadi and also appealed to both the states to maintain peace.

     “Water is for love and not for war,” said Bharti after a tri-parties meeting on the issue, which failed to achieve any clear conclusion over the Mahanadi water sharing dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

     Odisha had proposed a joint committee to supervise the works, but it was decided that an expert committee would be constituted with environmentalist, former judges and experts on hydrology as members.

     An expert committee, headed by Central Water Resources OSD Dr Amarjeet Singh, would be constituted to verify the projects, for which approvals were not obtained by both the states, from the central advisory committee, Bharti told reporters here.

     National Institute of Hydrology Roorkee has been entrusted the job to make a comprehensive study of the river Mahanadi and its basin so that the Ministry or its committee could consider that report.

     The Central Minister also said she has urged Chhattisgarh to stop construction works on its six barrages for a week as a Technical Advisory Committee would visit both the states.

     On the proposal of Chhattisgarh, a gauge station would also be set up in the upstream of Hirakud and at the Odisha-Chhattisgarh border, to ensure the downstream state get its rightful water, she said adding Central Water Commission has already been instructed to set up the equipments.

     She also expressed surprise that Odisha had never objected to the construction works being carried out on these barrages for the last ten years, and said her ministry needed sometime to take a considered view on the matter.

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