Vikash Sharma

The sensitive issue of Mahanadi river water crisis was raised in the Odisha Assembly on Tuesday. Leader of Opposition (LoP), Jayanarayan Mishra said that earlier there have been discussions in the Assembly over Mahanadi water dispute and water crisis.

According to Mishra, a committee headed by the Assembly Speaker was formed on December 7, 2017 and another committee was formed which was headed by Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik.

“They are only talking about Mahanadi but not a single meeting has been conducted by the committees, forget about spot visit. I had raised the issue of legal committee in which there are several advocates. Despite this, the hearing date in the Tribunal is getting postponed,” said Mishra.

Raking up the issue, Mishra demanded that detailed information should be presented on meetings conducted by the committees and the work done by it and what was proposed. Mishra also sought full-fledged details and reports on the expenses incurred by the state on roping in six senior advocates to present Odisha’s stand before the Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal.

Senior Congress leader, Narasingha Mishra, on the other hand, said that even though two committees were formed, not a single meeting has been conducted by the individual committees.

“The matter is likely to be discussed in the Assembly through a motion and it is during the same period that the CM is visiting Japan. There will be no importance of such discussions when the CM would not be present. We want the CM to remain present in the House and leave for Japan after April 6,” said Mishra.

BJD MLA, Soumyaranjan Patnaik said,” The Mahanadi water has been stopped by the neighbouring state at the point of origin. Now we need to plan thinking about the future and come up with facilities to save the water flowing into the sea by constructing anicuts without waiting for the Tribunal. By this the issue of ground water depletion can be checked. There is also need to check the issue of water pollution by industries and other sources.”

(Reported by Harihar Chand)