Politics

Mahanadi dispute: Cracks appear in all-party meet

Bhubaneswar: The BJP and Congress today disapproved BJD’s call for ‘Kalma Challo’ for its ‘Mahanadi Surakhya Abhiyan at the all-party meet convened by Mahanadi Banchao Committee.

The parties remained adamant on their respective agenda.  Both the Opposition parties in Odisha disliked the BJD’s move for a demonstration at Kalma in Chhattisgarh where the neighbouring the State block river water through the project.

PCC president Niranjan Patnaik, who took part in the meeting, said “There would be no gain if a protest is staged at Kalma. Rather we should meet PM Narendra Modi to resolve the Mahanadi dispute or we should produce data-based evidence before the tribunal,”.

He further questioned “Why the CM had remained silent for the last 15 years over construction of barrages by Chhattisgarh on Mahanadi”.

Similarly, senior BJP leader Biswa Bhushan Harichandan suggested that Odisha government should move to the tribunal seeking stay on the construction of projects.

BJD, however, alleged that that the Centre is yet to issue Term of Reference (ToR) for the Mahanadi Water Tribunal.

BJD vice-president Debi Prasad Mishra said “We should put pressure on the neighboring State to keep all the gates of Kalma barrage open to ensure smooth passage of Mahanadi water. Though Chhattisgarh blocks water at Kalma, a desert like situation arises in the lower catchment areas resulting in acute water scarcity in Odisha,” Mishra said.

He said that two committees have also been constituted in the State Assembly under the chairman ship of Chief Minister and the Speaker.

On the other hand, BJD is going to kick off its Mahanadi Surakhya Abhiyan from May 16.

BJD president and CM Naveen Patnaik would flag off the campaign from the river’s entry point into Odisha at Sukhasoda in Jharsuguda and Ambabhona in Bargarh district.

The mega campaign will cover over 1595 km along the river banks in 15 districts affected by Mahanadi and culminate at Paradip on May 30.

 

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