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Rashmi Rekha Das

Members of the Odisha Nadi Bancho Samiti, a local outfit fighting for saving rivers, on Wednesday were shocked to see both sides of Kalma barrage situated in Chhattisgarh along the Odisha border.

On Odisha side, the Mahanadi river has completely dried up making it appear like a desert while on the other side in Chhattisgarh, Kalma barrage appears to be like a sea with full of ripples. 

The team led by Waterman of India Rajendra Singh expressed concern after seeing the Odisha side of the river. 

He said, “I feel happy to see Chhattisgarh side, but I feel like crying when I see how the river has taken the shape of a desert on the Odisha side. The Mahanadi river has all rights to flow. We will work on the issue.” 

Meanwhile, the Mahandi Banchao Andolan convenor Sudarshan Das said, “It is unfortunate that the Chhattisgarh government is not letting Mahandi water to flow by closing 66 gates of the barrage.  Up to seven kilometres from the barrage along Chhattisgarh, the river gives an illusion of a sea while the same river on the Odisha side looks like desert. We will demand the Chhattisgarh government to open at least five sluice gates in order to ensure water inflows to Hirakud dam. The government should let the river flow.”

According to sources, the perennial stream of the Mahanadi towards Odisha has dried up triggering a water and power crisis for the state. This is after all the 66 head sluice gates of Chhattisgarh’s Kalma barrage in the Mahanadi having been shut down recently.

 At the same time, the Chhattisgarh bound Kalma barrage has surplus water which recharges its repository.

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