BJP, BJD in war of words over irrigation in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Politics over irrigation projects in Odisha intensified after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday countering media reports during PM Modi’s visit which claimed that only 22, 000 hectare of land have been irrigated in Odisha.

In a letter to PM Modi, CM Naveen had mentioned that an additional irrigation potential of 7.8 lakh hectares has been created and Rs 26,889 crore spent since 2014 with a contribution of Rs 1,211 crores or 4.5% from Centre through PMKGY (AIBP). “Odisha has invested record Rs 10,196 crore this year itself in irrigation,” the letter mentioned.

CM Naveen added that Odisha has already completed 46 mega lift irrigation projects, 53,576 deep bore wells, 5,837 community lift points, 8,335 check dams for the welfare of farmers.

Responding to Patnaik’s letter, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said “Odisha CM should clarify what happened to the mega Gangadhar Meher Lift Canal System announced just ahead of the Bijepur Bypoll. Moreover, he should provide details about drinking water, employment generation, housing & Soubhagya schemes.”

BJD spokesperson Sameer Das said “Their (BJP) lies have already been exposed. If they are alleging something they should specifically mention about it with proper facts.”

Meanwhile, the Congress lashed out at both BJP and BJD over the issue.