Paradip: In a show of strength ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Odisha visit tomorrow, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik criticized Central government's silence on the ongoing Mahanadi dispute with Chhattisgarh at the valedictory programme of Mahanadi Suraksha Abhiyan at Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district here on Friday.
It is unfortunate the way the BJP-led government at the Centre is 'silent' on the serious issue of Mahanadi, Patnaik said while addressing a gathering on the occasion.
"We are not fighting for just water, we are fighting for the life of Mahanadi. If Mahanadi needs to be saved as a river, water level should be maintained in its 500 km basin during summer," said Patnaik.
The BJD Supremo also alleged that the BJP leaders in Odisha are shedding crocodile tears and supporting the illegal barrage construction works taken up by Chhattisgarh government on Mahanadi. The people of Odisha have understood their double standards.
"If the BJP leaders care for the interest of Odisha, they should oppose the works of Chhattisgarh. BJD is committed to save Mahanadi and it is due to the efforts of the State government that a Tribunal has been set up to resolve the dispute," Patnaik said.
While addressing the public meeting, the BJD supremo and chief minister stated that the Satkosia, Chilika and Bhitarkanika eco-systems which are dependent on Mahanadi also need to be preserved.
Mahanadi serves as a lifeline for the people of Odisha and livelihood of fishermen and farmers is also dependent on the river.
"The people of Odisha are united for Mahanadi and BJD will give a befitting reply for the attack on our livelihood," Patnaik added.
Odisha CM had earlier flagged off the Mahanadi Surakhsha Abhiyan on May 16 from Ambavona and Lakhanpur in Bargarh and Jharsuguda districts.
The Abhiyan covered 15 districts involving 45 assembly constituencies spreading over 1,600 km and concluded at Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district today.