Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Opposition Congress has decided to take to streets to protest the unilateral construction of barrages over river Mahanadi by neighbouring Chhattisgarh.

At a press meet in Bhubaneswar today, one of the newly-appointed working presidents of Odisha Congress, Naba Kishore Das said that water flow in Mahandi has largely reduced due to construction of barrages by the Chhattisgarh government.

Congress will launch a public protest from western Odisha and if the State Government keeps mum over the issue and the Centre does not resolve it through a tribunal, we will start a 'Mahanadi Bachao Andolan' against both.

"The river is drying up causing troubles for farmers as well as the general public. The situation will become worse in coming days if this trend continues. Hence, the party has decided to stage protest in each block and Gram Panchayat of western Odisha," said Das, adding that all political parties and other organisations will be approached to join the protest.

On the other hand, ruling-BJD said the neighbouring state is coming up with some absurd arguments when it is asked to open the gates of Kalma barrage on the upper catchment of Mahanadi river which has led to acute drinking water crisis in the Western belt. The party has been making efforts to sensitise the general public about the issue especially in the districts situated on the Mahanadi basin, said senior BJD leader, Surya Narayan Patro.

Odisha BJP president, Basant Panda said, "The parties which have failed to reach out to people through developmental works are adopting issues like Mahanadi to survive in the politics. A solution has been found. People will never accept politicisation of such issues."

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