Pradeep Singh

Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on the Chhattisgarh government for releasing excess water into the Mahanadi without prior information.

Speaking to media, BJD vice president, Debi Prasad Mishra blamed the neighbouring state for flooding in Mahanadi and stated that lack of information from the Chhattisgarh government about the operation of Kalma barrage gates is preventing Odisha from preparing itself to mitigate floods.

"We feared this (release of water by Chhattisgarh) and it happened. We have been raising the issue that the neighbouring state is acting as per its whims and fancies. When farmers of Odisha face water scarcity, they don't release water from the reservoir but during the rainy season, they release water mindlessly without informing us," said Mishra.

The Odisha Water Resource Department secretary had earlier raised concerns over such release of water. Besides, a coordination meeting of the National Council of Dam Safety was recently held to discuss safety of Hirakud and floodwater management. However, they are still releasing water without any communication, he alleged.

The former minister further said that the Chhattisgarh government has a faulty reservoir system and big barrages have been built only to serve the interests of industries there.

As Odisha is suffering, we strongly condemn Chhattisgarh's acts, he added.

Reacting to the BJD's allegations, Water Resources Minister of Chhattisgarh said, "As Odisha opened the gates of Hirakud Dam, our state was spared of floods. If both the states maintain coordination there will be no problem.

Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Water Resources, Arjun Ram Meghwal who was in Bhubaneswar today to review the Mahanadi matter, assured that he will take up the issue of release of excess water into Mahanadi with the Chhattisgarh government.

Meghwal also said that the water sharing dispute between the two states should be resolved through discussions.

Earlier yesterday, as many as 25 gates of the Hirakud Dam were opened to release excess floodwater and district collectors of Jajpur, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Cuttack were put on alert.