BJD govt allowed Chhattisgarh to go ahead with projects on Mahanadi: Cong

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Bhubaneswar: The Congress on Sunday accused the BJD government in the state of allowing Chhattisgarh to go ahead with the construction of a host of projects in the upper catchments on Mahanadi, leading to the current row between the two neighbours over the sharing of water.

“The BJD government led by chief minister Naveen Patnaik has no moral right to stay in power even for a moment. The chief minister, who is in charge of Water Resources, has acted against the larger interests of the people of Odisha by putting the future of Mahanadi in a state of uncertainty during his 16-year tenure. The chief minister has deliberately allowed the Chhattisgarh government to construct barrages, dams and diversion weirs,” Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan told media persons at the Congress Bhawan here.

Elaborating on his point, he said though the Chhattisgarh government had officially informed the Odisha government of its proposed projects on at least three occasions, but the latter had preferred to remain silent instead of acting promptly.

Criticising the statement of the PCC president, BJD leader Rabi Narayan Nanda said when the state government has been leaving no stone unturned in pressing its demand to the Centre as well as the Chhattisgarh government to stop construction of barrages and dams to safeguard the interests of the people of Odisha, the Congress should refrain from giving such absurd and ridiculous statements to the media.

Referring to the approval of the Arpa-Bhaisajhar barrage project, he said the Odisha government had raised its objection to the proposed project by the Chhattisgarh government to the Centre in 2015. “Despite our objection, the Centre gave permission for construction of the project,” Nanda told OTV over phone.

Stating that the Hirakud dam receives 94 percent of Mahanadi water during monsoon and 6 percent during non-monsoon season, he said the construction of projects on the upper catchments will seriously affect the flow of non-monsoon water to the Hirakud reservoir.

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