HC lobs river query at Bihar

Jharkhand High Court

Ranchi: Jharkhand High Court on Wednesday directed the Bihar government to clear its stand on sharing Chandan river's water with Jharkhand based on a public interest litigation filed by BJP's Godda MP Nishikant Dubey.

The court asked the standing counsel of Bihar to inquire into his government's current status on the matter and wanted to know from the Jharkhand government its role in water-sharing. Seeking affidavits from both state governments, the court said the case would be heard again in three weeks.

In his PIL, MP Dubey had pointed out how Godda district suffers in winter as the water of river Chandan, which originates in Banka district of Bihar but whose tributaries flow into Godda for 62km, is checked by dams in the neighbouring state.

So, during winter months, rabi crops in Godda are adversely affected, the MP stated in his petition. Had the neighbouring government been more responsive, the dams in Bihar on the river could have been opened to allow water to flow into the weirs of the river in Jharkhand, he had added.

Dubey's counsel Diwakar Upadhayay informed the division bench of Justice Aparesh Kumar Singh and Justice B.B. Mangalmurti that though the Chandan High Level Canal Reservoir Project had been initiated by Bihar and Jharkhand, there seemed to be no coordination between the two states.

He added that tributaries of the Chandan flowing into Jharkhand were solely rain-fed and not enough to irrigate rabi crops in Godda in winter. The tributaries stay dry in summer, he added.

The state government represented by the office of the advocate-general told the court it was committed to pursue the matter of getting Chandan waters into weirs in Jharkhand. The state had sanctioned Rs 70 crore for repairing check dams on the river, he said.


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