BJP demands formation of committee

Bhubaneswar: Demanding formation of an independent expert committee to probe alleged mismanagement of water in Hirakud reservoir by Orissa government that led to recent high flood, BJP today asked Governor M C Bhandare to exercise his constitutional authority in this regard.

"Since the devastating flood that hit the state last month was due to gross mismanagement of water at Hirakud dam, an independent expert committee must be constituted to probe the matter," senior BJP leader Bjay Mohapatra told reporters.

The independent panel should comprise experts on dams, Central Water Commission (CWC), Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) and other technical experts, he said adding "constitution of such a committee will be in the interest of the state and the government must realise this."

As the floods played havoc in 21 of the state`s 30 districts due to accumulation of huge volume of water for a long time at Hirakud and sudden release by opening 59 dam gates, the state government should be held responsible for the devastation, Mohapatra said.

Despite forecast and warning by Chhattisgarh, IMD and CWC about heavy rains and volume of water flow in river Mahanadi from August 25 to September 10, Orissa government kept on accumulating water in the reservoir in order to cater to the needs of industries, the former minister said.

As the state government is against any independent expert body to probe this mismanagement, the Governor must intervene and exercise his constitutional authority in ensuring formation of such a panel to probe it, he said.