Bhubaneswar: With the Chhattisgarh government returning the volley to Odisha government in the exchange of letters in the Mahanadi water usage row and alleging the latter for not sharing complete information on the river projects, the ongoing issue seems to remain unsettled before the State heads meet later in the month to solve the matter.
In its letter to the Odisha government dated 01.09.2016, the neighbouring government countered Odisha’s claims that it has furnished all the necessary information as asked by the Odisha government on the ongoing and proposed water projects on river Mahanadi.
But what is surprising that the Raman Singh-led government has alleged the Odisha government has not shared complete information as sought by it.
The letter further read though Mahanadi originates from the highlands of Chhattisgarh, it is using only 3.5 per cent of the river water while Odisha is getting benefit of 14 per cent water of the river. Remaining 82 per cent river water is left unutilised.
When asked about the claim made by Chhattisgarh, Odisha Water Resources secretary Pradeep Jena termed it to be ‘false’.
“We have given them (Chhattisgarh government) data pertaining to everything what they wanted to know about the Mahanadi water usage. But we are yet to get the same from them,” Jena stated.
This, despite a scheduled meeting between the two State heads in the later part of the month, has resulted in a fierce political slugfest between the ruling BJD and BJP. While the BJP has criticised the ruling government for not taking the issue ‘pro-actively’, BJD has questioned the intention of the Chhattisgarh government.
“Instead of sitting here and giving statements to media, why the department heads are not directly reaching their Chhattisgarh counterparts?” asked Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
BJD’s Rajya Sabha MP Prasanna Acharya said, “When the Chhatisgarh government is reluctant to share information on Mahanadi with us despite having their government at the Centre and repeated directions from Ministry of Water Resources, their intention is quite clear.”