The High Court on Friday constituted a five-member expert committee to study and report within three weeks to the court as to whether the permanent constructions on Mahanadi islet at Hadia Patha would pose any threat to the Ring Road protecting the Cuttack city from flood.

The committee has also been asked to find out whether the intake well constructed at the site for supply of water to the IOC proposed oil refinery in Paradeep by any means affect the availability of surface water, groundwater, and drinking water for the city. The committee would also see to it that whether the diversion of river water for the IOC would affect the irrigation of the agricultural land depending upon the Taladanda canal which originates at Jobra, a few metres downstream of Hadia Patha.

A Division Bench of Justice B P Das and Justice M M Das constituted the committee by appointing former chief engineer of irrigation department S M Patnaik as its chairman. Other members of the committee include former engineers in chief Raghunath Das, Sridhar Behera, Sudhakar Patry, and Baidhar Panda.

The superintending engineer of eastern circle of irrigation department would be the nodal officer to extend all logistic support to the committee, the HC said in its order.

Asking the committee to submit its report within three weeks, the High Court has asked the panel to consult the State government, the petitioner Nationalist Lawyers' Forum and IOC before preparing its report. The committee would also suggest ways as to how the IOC would get its required raw water for its proposed oil refinery.

The proposed oil refinery and petrochemical complex of the IOC is coming up at Abhayachandrapur near Paradip for processing 15 million MT of crude oil per annum. The project also envisages dispatch of LPG and crude products by pipelines after developing marine facilities like jetty at Paradip.