Mahanadi row: BJD team to visit remaining projects in Chhattisgarh today

Bhubaneswar: The 12-member BJD delegation, which had visited Kelo dam, Siorinarayan and Arpa-Bhaisajhar barrage projects in Chhattisgarh yesterday, will conduct a spot assessment of the remaining projects today.

The team will also hold discussion with the engineers and other officials of the water resources department of Chhattisgarh and collect all information regarding the projects from them.

The focus during the discussion will be on whether the Kelo and Arpa projects had got the approval of the Central Water Commission (CWC) before construction started, the quantum of water being supplied to industries and irrigation to farm land as per guidelines. The team will also assess the impact of these projects on Odisha and collect information of other projects in the river basin.

After visiting, Kelo and Arpa projects yesterday, BJD vice president and Rajya Sabha MP Prasanna Acharya, who is leading the team, had alleged that the neighbouring state is constructing barrages to supply water to industries.

Talking to newsmen during his visit, Acharya had said, “Neither any drinking water project has been undertaken nor irrigation canals have been dug out as per plans for the projects. However, big pipes have been laid into the reservoir, which points to supply of water to industries.”

He further stated, “The Central Water Commission (CWC) should act as a mediator in between the states and give permission to projects keeping the interest of all sides. But in this case, it has failed to do so.”

In Raigarh town, the team was opposed by the activists of Ajit Jogi’s Janata Congress yesterday. Similar opposition was also experienced by the team in Pamagada.

On the other hand, the all-party committee led by Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra has decided to submit a memorandum addressed to President Pranab Mukherjee to Governor SC Jamir demanding formation a river board to resolve the water dispute between two states.

Meanwhile, Bhubaneswar bar association has decided to cease work on August 12 protesting against the construction by Chhattisgarh on Mahanadi river.