Mahanadi row: BJD govt braces for legal recourse

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Bhubaneswar: With the failure of tripartite talks on Mahanadi issue, the ruling BJD government in Odisha has made up its mind to move the Supreme Court for formation of a tribunal and approach the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Besides, aware of the Opposition onslaught, the ruling party has also prepared a blueprint.

The state government is in consultation with several organistations, NGOs and legal experts on whether it would move the Supreme Court or the NGT.

Also Read: State Cabinet approves stand of Odisha govt on Mahanadi issue

“The state government will file a case in the Supreme Court. The council of ministers have unanimously supported the proposal of the chief minister to move the apex court to safeguard the interests of the people of Odisha”, senior BJD leader Damodar Rout told media persons today.

BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra said the only alternative of the state government is to apprise the prime minister of the present situation.

“The Tribunal will be formed by the Supreme Court to look into the ongoing row between Odisha and Chhattisgarh and give its ruling”, he said.

Talking about the attitude of the Centre on this issue, Mohapatra said going by the statement of the Union Water Resources minister for formation of a joint control board (JCB), it seems that the Centre has the tacit support to the Chhattisgarh government for its illegal construction of projects on upper Mahanadi.

“The purpose of the JCB is to regularise and validate the projects which are illegally constructed”, he noted.

Meanwhile, BJD today took out a protest rally in the state capital here and burnt the effigies of Union Water Resources minister Uma Bharti and Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh.

In his statement to the media, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said his party will rake up the issue in the monsoon session of the State Assembly beginning from September 21 and intensify its agitation during the pada yatra in all downstream areas of Mahanadi scheduled in October.

“Mahanadi will be the major issue. During the pada yatra, we will go the people and tell them about the outcome of the tripartite meeting”, he added.

On the other hand, the Opposition parties have strongly criticised the state government on this issue.

“The ruling BJD government has utterly failed in safeguarding the interests of the people of Odisha. The people of the state will now stage demonstration against the BJD government”, PCC president Prasad Harichandan told media persons here.

BJP state vice president Samit Mohanty said the Odisha chief minister knows better that the issue can be resolved through legal course. “As the panchayat polls is round the corner, the people of Odisha are well aware of his political game plan on Mahanadi”, he pointed out.

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