Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal visited the Kalma barrage in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday to study the situation on the ground amid the ongoing dispute between the Chhattisgarh and Odisha governments over the water of Mahanadi.

As per reports, on the third day of its second phase field visit, the tribunal examined the barrage and its capacity to hold water. It also reviewed the water level during the monsoon and non-monsoon seasons and how much water the barrage releases into Odisha.

The Tribunal is scheduled to visit the Kelo project in Chhattisgarh tomorrow and return to Delhi from Jharsuguda in the evening.

It is pertinent to mention here that the Chhattisgarh government has opened 17 gates of Kalma barrage just ahead of the tribunal’s field visit.

According to sources, the move from Chhattisgarh was aimed at misleading the tribunal by portraying fair sharing of Mahanadi water.

have opened gates, so we have come to take a bath. The water level was very low before that,” said a local.

Another local said, “The barrage authorities open gates whenever they feel like; mainly for an hour or two in the night. The river remains dry during the day making it difficult for us to take bath.”

“However, today seems to be an exception. I came back from work to see the gates open and the river is flowing on this side of the barrage. It is surprising,” he added.

“Chhattisgarh is acting smartly to mislead the tribunal. It has opened the gates of the barrage to level up the water. But, the tribunal will not just see the water level, rather it will verify various records and documents before reaching a conclusion,” said Sudhakar Patri, former chief engineer of the Odisha Water Resources department.

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