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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Regional outfit 'Mahanadi Bachao Andolan' has decided to launch a signature campaign and a 'padyatra' from Kalma to Puri on April 11 demanding opening of gates of Kalma Barrage by Chhattisgarh till further orders of the Mahanadi Water Dispute Tribunal.

The outfit is planning to collect 1 lakh signatures and will present it before the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra.

As many as 15 districts of Odisha will face severe water scarcity due to closure of the 64 gates by the Chhattisgarh government, said the outfit in a media release yesterday adding that the shortage of water is already being felt by the locals.

Irrigation and electricity generation will be affected due to the fall in water level, it added.

A delegation of the 'Mahanadi Bachao Andolan' will visit Kalma on April 11 to take stock of the situation and will launch the padyatra from there which will culminate in Puri on April 15.

Moreover, the forum has also demanded that the Odisha government should take steps to ensure plantation along the banks of Mahanadi and stop sand smuggling and encroachment of river bed.

Meanwhile, the ruling-BJD stated that protests against Chhattisgarh Government’s decision to close Kalma barrage gates will be intensified in the coming days while the BJP stated that the State government is hiding its incapability and passing the buck.

“When the matter is sub-judice in the apex court, the Chhattisgarh government’s decision to close the Kalma Barrage gates has created resentment among many. In coming days, we would raise our voice against Chhattisgarh’s decision as farmers are suffering in Odisha,” said BJD legislator Sanjay Dasburma.

On the other hand, BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma stated, “In this whole episode, the Odisha government is only trying to shift the blame.”

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