Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: There was lack of foresight, said spokesperson of the ruling-BJD, Pratap Deb in an interview to a local news channel, adding further, "We should have known about their (Chhattisgarh government) intentions behind construction of one project after another on Mahanadi River."

"Had we thought of that, we would have thwarted their conspiracy. I accept the lack of foresight on our part," he added.

Amid such revelations, question arises - With what message will the ruling-BJD approach the people for its campaign 'Mahanadi Mahasangram', which it has planned in 15 districts situated Mahanadi basin?

At a time when a tribunal has already been formed to resolve the long-standing dispute between Odisha and the neighbouring Chhattisgarh on sharing of Mahanadi river water, many feel that the 'Mahanadi Mahasangram' plan of BJD is an attempt to put pressure on the tribunal.

It is unfortunate that the State government didn't have any idea about what Chhattisgarh has been doing for the last 18 years, said Union Minister Jual Oram, adding that "I will say it's the failure of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik."

Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said, "I will not put blame on anyone for the planned protest on Mahanadi but the State government's dedication will be proved only if the Chief Minister or the Speaker calls for an all-party meeting on the matter."

The BJD on the other hand said that by blaming the party, the BJP is only exposing itself.

"The BJP is getting exposed here. Mahanadi is an issue associated with the people of Odisha and they have faith on BJD; we are always with them and will do whatever it takes," said BJD spokesperson, Debi Prasad Mishra.

Statistics indicate that while the Chhattisgarh government has done a lot of projects on Mahanadi in the very interest of its people, the Odisha government has not done any such projects resulting in wastage of water.

As per data, nearly 53 per cent of the Mahanadi River water flowing into Odisha gets drained into the sea due to lack of proper utilisation and storage.

"The government has failed to resolve the issues at Mahanadi's lower catchment area below the Hirakud dam. We can't save Mahanadi by politicizing the issue," said Mahanadi Bachao Andolan convener Sudarsan Das.