Odisha reminds Chhattisgarh about info on Mahanadi projects

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Bhubaneswar: Taking note of the fact that the Chhattisgarh government is yet to give detailed information about the completed and upcoming projects built in the upper catchments of Mahanadi, the Odisha government has sent a reminder to the former.

Talking to media persons at the State Secretariat here today, chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi said a meeting between the Odisha government and Chhattisgarh government over Mahanadi issue was held in New Delhi on July 29 in which the latter had assured to give the details of the projects which have been completed and which are underway within 15 days.

“The Odisha government had sought details from Chhattisgarh about monthly utilisation of water from completed projects and under construction projects which are in the pipeline. Besides, the state government had also sought detailed reports on the amount of water the neighbouring state would require from these projects in future for private, industrial and thermal power use. Though the Chhattisgarh government had assured us to give the detailed information within 15 days of the meeting, we are yet to receive any information till date. We have sent a reminder to the Chhattisgarh government on this matter and informed the Central Water Commission (CWC) accordingly,” Padhi said.

“We need official data from the Chhattisgarh government so that the impact assessment on the use of water can be done properly. After we get the data, our engineering wing will do a thorough analysis. In fact, we have been reviewing the data received from different sources. But we need official data from the Chhattisgarh government. It does not matter whether the Chhattisgarh government provides us the data or the Centre provides the data after collecting it from the Chhattisgarh government. Once we get these official data, we will be able to make a correct assessment after which we will decide our own strategy to counter this issue,” Water Resources secretary Pradeep Jena told the media today.

On the other hand, the BJD has decided to submit an interim report on its recent visit to Chhattisgarh.

“During the visit of the BJD delegation, the Chhattisgarh government had promised us to provide detailed information we had sought about the projects. But as it has not provided us any information so far, we have decided to submit an interim report to the chief minister,” School and Mass Education minister Debi Prasad Mishra said.

He also said for a complete report, BJD will request the Congress to provide the data it had collected during its visit to Chhattisgarh. “Apart from this, we will also ask some NGOs, which had visited Chhattisgarh recently, for info,” he added.

Meanwhile, spurred by the success of the Odisha bandh, the Congress has prepared a road map to stage a series of agitations across the state on the Mahanadi issue.

“May be we can stage agitation at the panchayat level or block level. We have also planned a mass agitation along the Mahanadi basin. We are ready to discharge our duty as an Opposition party,” PCC spokesperson Sarat Rout said.

On the other hand, the BJP has decided to come up with a white paper on Mahanadi issue. “If the state government is reluctant to release a white paper on Mahanadi, BJP will release a white paper basing on the information it has and reveal the truth to the people of Odisha,” BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma said in a press briefing here today.

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