Mahanadi barrage row: Cong delegation to visit Chhattisgarh in a week

Bhubaneswar: Senior Congress leader and former Union minister Jairam Ramesh today said a Congress team from Odisha will visit Chhattisgarh within a week to conduct a ground study on the construction of barrages and dams and other proposed projects on Mahanadi river.

“The Odisha Congress will send a delegation to Chhattisgarh to study all the projects, be it major, medium and minor or whatever it is, which are being proposed on Mahanadi and which could have an adverse impact on Odisha. The team will visit Chhattisgarh in a week. After conducting a ground survey of these projects, the team will submit a report, make it public and then will take appropriate action,” he told newsmen at a press briefing here.

He, however, said the responsibility is that of the chief minister, who, till now, has not raised the issue. “Our delegation comes to Odisha and goes to Kandhamal district and suddenly the BJD announces that Chhattisgarh is a major issue. This is nothing but an attention diverting programme of the state government”, he pointed out.

Present on the occasion, PCC president Prasad Harichandan said since Mahanadi is an inter-state river as well as the lifeline of Odisha, the Congress will urge the chief minister Naveen Patnaik to form an all-party committee and with the committee members he should take up the matter with the Prime Minister and seek his immediate intervention. The Congress will lend total support to the state government in this matter.

He said a committee of the PCC will visit Chhattisgarh within a week and visit the proposed project site where the Chhattsigarh government has planned to construct these projects. “We will have a meeting with the Chhattisgarh government and inform the people of Odisha about the detailed outcome of the meeting,” Harichandan added.