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Rashmi Ranjan

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday expressed grave concerns that State may face severe water scarcity, problems in irrigation and disruption in electricity supply in the coming days as the water level of Hirakud dam has reduced remarkably even if it's just a month into the non-monsoon season.

Speaking to reporters in Bhubaneswar, senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra said, "It's been a month since non-monsoon. The water-level at the Hirakud dam has already decreased by 5 feet."

"The water level of the dam was 626.17 feet last month and now it stands at 621 feet. The decrease in the water level in the dam will lead to water scarcity, problems in irrigation and electricity production in Odisha during the next two months," Mohapatra cautioned.

"Unlike Odisha, the reservoirs in Chhattisgarh are full. Around 1200 to 1500 cusec water is flowing in the upper catchment area of Hirakud. The Odisha government must discuss the issue with Chhattisgarh and initiate process to release adequate amount of water to Odisha," the saffron party leader stated.

Furthermore, the Odisha government must raise the dispute before the National Green Tribunal for a permanent solution to the long-standing water dispute, Mohapatra added.

Notably, Odisha and Chhattisgarh are on loggerheads over the release of Mahanadi river water to the Hirakud dam and a series of meetings between the two States over the long-standing dispute are yet to yield any results.

Recently on February 6, Mahanadi Bachao Andolan has expressed resentment over Mahanadi Water Disputes Tribunal's tardy response in resolving the dispute.

Sudarsan Das, the convenor of Mahanadi Bacho Andolan had said, “The tribunal will complete three years of its constitution on March 12, but it is yet to make any remarkable progress in resolving the dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh.”

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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