Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday accused the Naveen Patnaik- led BJD government of injecting fear among people of the state over Mahanadi issue.

"The BJD government wants to create an atmosphere of fear in the state over Mahanadi river water issue instead of sincerely trying to meet the water requirement of people," Pradhan alleged.

Pradhan was speaking at a meeting held here on the occasion of Narendra Modi government's completion of three years in office in the presence of Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu. He urged the state government to open the gates of the Hirakud reservoir for the efficient use of available water resources.

While Odisha's right over due share of Mahanadi water has to be secured, the BJD government should open Hirakud reservoir gates to meet the requirement of water in downstream of the river in Odisha, he said.

Pradhan also condemned Cuttack city BJD MLA Debashis Samantray for issuing threat to snap water supply to IOCL refinery at Paradip, which draws Mahanadi water from Jobra reservoir in the city for its Paradip project.

"The elected representative (Samantray) is out to spread goondaraj in the name of agitation and he is trying to be a new spokesman of the party, which is controlled by the bureaucrats," the Petroleum Minister said.

Pradhan said that IOCL draws water from the river near Cuttack following scrutiny of Orissa High Court. He said the High Court in April 2015 allowed IOCL to use Mahanadi water under certain conditions while disposing of a PIL.

He said IOCL has deposited Rs 10 crore for development of Sishu Bhawan (government paediatric hospital), Rs 3 crore for city traffic management, five high-tech ambulances with running cost for three years for Rs 26 crore, Rs 298 crore for dredging of Mahanadi river.