Green Mahanadi Mission

Odisha government has launched the ‘Green Mahanadi Mission’, a plantation drive, under which two crore saplings will be planted in the Mahanadi river basin.

About the mission

Under the mission, more than two crore saplings will be planted over an area of 41,000 hectares. The plantation will be done on either side of major rivers of Odisha as well along roadside length of about 5,000 km over a period of five years at an expenditure of around Rs 5,000 crore. Apart from Mahanadi, plantation will also be done on the banks of river Tel and Ib.

Objective of the mission

The objective of the mission is to stop soil erosion on river banks and recharge the groundwater reserve.

The volunteers will plant fruit-bearing trees like mango, jackfruit and jamun within one km radius of the river bank. This will provide livelihood opportunities for the local communities .

About Mahanadi River

The Mahanadi is one of the major east flowing peninsular rivers draining into Bay of Bengal.The Mahanadi river ranks second to the Godavari river among the peninsular rivers in respect of water potential.The total length of the river form origin to its outfall into Bay of Bengal is 851 km of which 357 km lies in Chhattisgarh and 494 km in Orissa.

Source of the river

South of sihawa town in Dhamtari district of Chhattisgarh.

Outflow of the river

The river rolls towards the Eastern Ghats, forcing its way through them via the 64 kilometres long Satkosia Gorge.

The Mahanadi proper enters the sea via several channels near Paradeep at False Point, Jagatsinghpur. The combined Delta of the Mahanadi’s numerous distributaries and the Brahmani is one of the largest in India.

Tributaries of  Mahanadi 

The principal tributaries of the Mahanadi river are- Sheonath, Jonk, Hasdeo, Mand, Ib, Ong and Tel.

Distributaries of Mahanadi

Distributaries of Mahanadi include the Kathjori, Paika, Birupa, Chitroptala river, Genguti and Lun.The Birupa goes on to join the Brahmani River at Krushnanagar and enters the Bay of Bengal at Dhamra.

Major dams on the river

1 . Hirakud Dam – Near the city of Sambalpur, Mahanadi is dammed by the largest earthen dam in the world, the Hirakud Dam. The dam measures 24 kilometres . It also forms the biggest artificial lake in Asia, with a reservoir holding 743 square kilometres at full capacity.

The Mahanadi was notorious for its devastating floods for much of recorded history. Thus it was called ‘the sorrow of Orissa’. However the construction of the Hirakud Dam has greatly altered the situation.

2 . Tandula Dam- is located in Balod district of Chhattisgarh

3 . Ravishankar Sagar – is located in Dhamtari district of Chhattisgarh

4 . Dudhawa Dam – is located in Dhamtari district of Chhattisgarh

5 . Hasdeo Bango Dam – is constructed across the Hasdeo river in Chhattisgarh

6 . Sondur Dam – is located in Dhamtari District of Chhattisgarh . It is constructed across Sondur River.

Basin of the river

The Mahanadi basin extends over an area of 141,589 km2 which is nearly 4.3% of the total geographical area of the country.It is bounded on the north by the Central India hills, on the south and east by the Eastern Ghats and on the west by the Maikala range.The upper basin is a saucer shaped and mostly lies in Chhattisgarh state.

Physiographically, the basin can be divided into four regions, namely, the northern plateau, the Eastern Ghats, the coastal plain and the erosional plains of central table land. The first two are hilly regions. The coastal plain is the delta area which is highly fertile. The central table land is the central interior region of the basin, traversed by the river and its tributaries.

Cities on the bank of river Mahanadi

Raipur , Cuttack , Sambalpur, Sonepur, Birmaharajpur, Boudh, Banki,etc.

What is the Mahanadi Dispute ?

Cabinet approves tribunal to settle Mahanadi water dispute

It is an issue relating to the sharing of the Mahanadi river water between Odisha and Chhattisgarh . Odisha has been demanding formation of a tribunal for a long time (which has been constituted in march 2018). It has argued that Chhattisgarh has been constructing dams and weirs (small dams) upstream, affecting the flow of the Mahanadi river considered as the “lifeline” on its territory. The construction would affect drinking water supply and irrigation facilities in the state.

Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal

The Centre notified constitution of the “Mahanandi Water Disputes Tribunal”in march 2018 to resolve the long-standing dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh over the sharing of water from Mahanandi river.

The Tribunal will be head-quartered at New Delhi and will comprise of:

1 . Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Supreme Court Judge (Chairman)

2 . Justice Ravi Ranjan, Patna High Court Judge

3 . Justice Indermeet Kaur Kochhar, Delhi High Court Judge.