Bhubaneswar: With no results emerging out of the recent tripartite meeting convened by the Centre to resolve the Mananadi row, the Odisha government has braced up for legal course.
Official sources said the state Water Resources department has decided to file a case in the Supreme Court in the last of week of November in consultation with senior lawyers.
Confirming the decision of the state government, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said the a case will be filed in the Supreme Court in the last week of November demanding immediate halt in the ongoing construction of projects on upper Mahanadi by the Chhattisgarh government, formation of a tribunal. Apart from this, the state government will also file a case in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) citing adverse effect on environment due to construction of these projects.
“We have no objection in the prescribed limit of storage of upstream water by the Chhattisgarh government. Besides, we have also prepared relevant documents to justify our contention in the Apex Court,” he added.
On the other hand, talking to media persons today, Chhattisgarh Water Resources minister Brij Mohan Agrawal said the Odisha government trying to take political mileage on this issue for which it is trying to provoke the people of the state.
“The Odisha government knows very well that the Chhattisgarh government has the right to use Mahanadi water and it is using less amount of water than Odisha. Besides, the construction of Hirakud Dam over river Mahanadi is made without any understanding with the Chhattisgarh government. We are neither afraid nor worried about the case which the Odisha government is going to file in the Supreme Court. Whatever projects the Chhattisgarh government will do, they are meant for the benefit of its farmers. Considering this, I am sure that the Odisha government will lose the case,” Agrawal pointed out.
Taking a swipe at the Centre, senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra said why the Water Resources ministry did not form an expert committee which was its responsibility?
He also said the Odisha government should place solid arguments in the Supreme Court about the manner in which Odisha would be affected during monsoon and non-monsoon seasons due to the construction of projects in upper Mahanadi by the Chhattisgarh government failing which the state would suffer heavily in future.
Meanwhile, as per the decision taken at the tripartite meeting held in New Delhi recently, the National Institute of Hydrology, Roorkee will conduct a survey on flow of water in Mahanadi basin.
There are 34 Hydrology observation sites in Mahanadi basin while a new Hydrology observation site has been set up at Kalama barrage on the upstream of Mahanadi which will keep a record of the volume of water flow, volume of water received during monsoon season, wind speed, temperature and humidity level.
“Besides, the observatory will also record the volume water flown from the upstream to Odisha during monsoon and non-monsoon seasons. If it is found that the required amount of upstream water to Odisha is less during non-monsoon season, then a way has to be found out,” said an expert.