Opp flays govt for misleading report on upper Mahanadi barrages

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Bhubaneswar:  The Opposition Congress and BJP today came down heavily on the double standards of the BJD government on the Mahanadi issue.

They said the state government, which in a statement in the State Assembly in 2010 had said the barrages on upper Mahanadi will have no impact on Hirakud reservoir as the water inflow to the reservoir has increased despite construction of these barrages, now has taken a U-turn saying the barrages will have adverse impact on Odisha.

Talking to media persons here, BJP MLA Pradip Purohit said former Parliamentary Affairs minister Raghunath Mohanty while giving statement on behalf of chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who holds the Water Resources portfolio, during a calling attention motion in the State Assembly in 2010 had said as per the records in the last 25 years, water inflow to Hirakud dam has increased by 15-16% during non-monsoon season.  “Going by the statement given by the minister, it is amply clear that the state government was aware of the construction of barrages in upper Mahanadi by the Chhattisgarh government.

Apart from this, Mohanty had also said between 1959 and 1981, the non-monsoon water inflow to Hirakud reservoir was 2.750 million acre feet while the non-monsoon water inflow to the reservoir between 1982 and 2006 has increased by 24 percent.

Besides, the minister had also said water inflow into the Hirakud reservoir has increased despite construction of barrages by the Chhattisgarh government.

This apart, he had also said Odisha utilises 14 percent of monsoon water and 34 percent of non-monsoon water of Mahanadi. Though 66 percent of non-monsoon water goes to the sea, the remaining 34 percent of water is enough to meet its requirement for drinking water, environment, irrigation, hydro power generation and industries.

“Discussions on this issue were held in the State Assembly in 2001, 2003, 2010, 2013 in which the state government had clearly stated that barrages built on upper Mahanadi will have no impact on Odisha. “In contrast, the BJD government now has turned a volte face saying these barrages will have adverse impact on Odisha and the Centre is responsible for the damage done to the state. From this, it is obvious that the government is now shedding crocodile tears. This is nothing but a political drama of the BJD government for the ensuing panchayat polls”, Congress MLA Nabakishore Das said.

Ruling out the contention of the Opposition, BJD spokesperson Amar Prasad Satpathy said the situation was different in 2010. “Now the situation has drastically changed as the projects which have been built in 2012 and afterwards will have a serious impact on Odisha. While the irrigation potential of the state will drastically come down, there will be acute shortage of drinking water”, he noted.

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