Mahanadi row: BJD begins Kalasa Jatra from Bargarh

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Bargarh: Intensifying its Mahanadi Banchao Andolan in protest against the constructions in the upstream of the Mahanadi river by the Chhattisgarh Government, the Biju Mahila Janata Dal, the women’s wing of the ruling BJD launched a Kalasa Jatra in Bargarh district today.

Hundreds of BJD women took out a procession on the streets of the town after collecting water from the Jira river, a tributary of the Mahanadi and Bargarh main canal. The activists later broke the water filled earthen pots in front of the photographs of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Union minister of state for water resources Sanjeev Balyan and Union Minister for Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti Gandhi.

The party alleged that the Chhattisgarh Government has planned a series of large projects on the Mahanadi without any approval of the Odisha Government.

“Water flow at the Hirakud dam would recede substantially if construction projects are undertaken on the upper reaches of the Mahanadi. The State would incur a heavy loss if the projects get implemented as irrigation and water conservation efficiency in 473 square km area of western, coastal and middle regions of Odisha would be greatly affected,” said Minister Snehangini Chhuria.

“The party is protesting in a democratic way. This would give a message to the Chhattisgarh Government and would definitely have an impact,” said BJD vice-president and former Minster Surya Narayan Patra, who is leading the protest.

On the other hand, police personnel have been deployed at various places in the town to avoid traffic chaos. The Padayatra would cover six western districts in the State before culminating on August 26.

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